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First details |  How WhatsApp wants to open up to other messengers

First details | How WhatsApp wants to open up to other messengers

Facebook Messenger, iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram. The scope of today's intelligence services is broad and the barriers are narrow. Each service has its own group or group of contacts.

If the European Union succeeds in achieving its goal, its inability to overcome it will soon become a thing of the past. Messengers, which have been classified as centralized platform services by the EU Commission, will in future be obliged by law to ensure openness. At least if the competition demands it. This is just one of the effects of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

WhatsApp, the popular service with more than two billion users, has been working on a way to receive messages from other messengers without breaking their end-to-end encryption for two years. Now, a few weeks before the deadline granted by the Legislative Council expires, WhatsApp announces the first details. Via WhatsApp manager Dick Brewer, who works with US Wired Gateway Wire.

Calls and group chats are excluded

“There is a real tension between an easy way to provide interoperability to third parties while maintaining WhatsApp's privacy, security and integrity standards,” says Brewer. “But I think we're very happy with where we ended up,” he adds.

WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger will initially focus on transferring text messages, photos, voice messages, videos, and files. Group calls and chats should only be possible later via the Services. Brewer also emphasizes that the functionality will be “optional”: “I can choose whether or not I want to participate in the open exchange of messages with third parties. This is important because it can be a significant source of spam and fraud.”

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The agreement with Meta becomes mandatory

What happens if I agree to the opening? WhatsApp users will then find messages from other apps in a separate area at the top of their inbox. However, according to Dick Brewer, you cannot guarantee “the same level of security and privacy” as with WhatsApp.

By the way, messaging companies that want to interact with WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger must sign an agreement with Meta and follow its terms and conditions. The company plans to publish the full plan in this regard in March. However, Dick Brewer says, other applications would be better off using the Signal Encryption Protocol.

Cancel Threema

Who will be involved in all this is still open. There is currently a rejection from Threema. According to the minds behind the Swiss app, the system proposed by WhatsApp is not compatible with its security requirements. Julia Weiss: “WhatsApp sets all the protocols, and we will have no way of knowing what actually happens to user data that is transferred to WhatsApp.”