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WhatsApp is bringing biometric authentication to WhatsApp Web, Desktop

The company says it can't see your face or fingerprint data.

Published onJanuary 28, 2021

WhatsApp by Facebook stock photo 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • WhatsApp has announced biometric authentication for Web and Desktop clients.
  • This allows you to use your fingerprint or face to link new devices.

WhatsApp has endured a frosty reception after it tried to force Facebook integration on its userbase earlier this year. Nevertheless, the company is pressing ahead with a notable security upgrade on paper as it brings biometric authentication to WhatsApp Desktop and Web.

The company revealed that biometric authentication (via face or fingerprint) will be conducted when linking devices to your account via QR code.

“In order to link WhatsApp Web or Desktop to your WhatsApp account you will now be asked to use your face or fingerprint unlock on your phone, before scanning a QR code from the phone to link your device,” read an excerpt of a press release sent to Android Authority.

In other words, there’s no option to only use biometric authentication in lieu of scanning a code. Nevertheless, the Facebook-owned team says this move will reduce the chance of a housemate or colleague linking a device to your account without your knowledge.

To get things started, you’ll want to follow the instructions below:

  1. Tap settings icon > WhatsApp Web
  2. Hit the plus icon and then follow the instructions if your phone supports biometric authentication
  3. Select the “keep me signed in” option on the QR code page on your computer if you wish to stay logged in
  4. Scan the QR code displayed on your computer with your phone camera

The company also explains that biometric authentication takes place on your smartphone, with WhatsApp not able to access this biometric information in the first place.

WhatsApp says this new feature and a redesign of WhatsApp Web for phones will be pushed out to users in “the coming weeks.” So you might have to wait a while before seeing it on your devices.

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