WhatsApp profile photo protection feature in the pipeline

Upcoming feature of WhatsApp will disallow to take screenshots of someone's profile picture
Undated image displaying WhatsApp logo. — Freepik
Undated image displaying WhatsApp logo. — Freepik

WhatsApp, the Meta-owned popular messaging app, is releasing a new feature to enhance users' privacy on the platform, disallowing to take screenshots of people's profile pictures.

The feature is coming in the hour of need as with the growing number of users on WhatsApp, some evil-minded people aim to exploit the platform for their mischievous intentions. Among numerous crimes committed by acquiring personal details of users on WhatsApp, abusing someone's profile photo is a potential one. 

Although the messaging app has already introduced features in the past to cater to the similar privacy concern, including allowing users to choose who can see their profile photos, this feature would add an extra layer of security to brush away people's worries for having their profile photos abused.

Read more: WhatsApp to bring chat lock synchronisation across all devices

According to WABetaInfo, this feature will wash away the ability to take screenshots of someone's profile picture. When a user would try to do so, the app will block the action and inform that they cannot take a screenshot.

While WABetaInfo report doesn't delve into the details of the upcoming feature,however, it is expected WhatsApp could be using the Flag_Secure window attribute that secures the window’s content.

When any application utilises this feature, the Android system prevents screenshots and screen recordings of that window. While there are still potential workaround ways, it significantly increases the difficulty compared to simply capturing a screenshot.

WhatsApp has implemented additional measures to protect profile photos. Previously, profile photos were easily downloadable, but this capability has long been removed.

The same options apply to the last seen and online status indicators, about page, and status updates. By restricting screenshots, it becomes more challenging for malicious individuals to share or use someone else’s photos without their permission.