WhatsApp changes Last Seen feature, hides from strangers by default

WhatsApp changes Last Seen feature, hides from strangers by default

Messaging platform WhatsApp recently changed its Last Seen feature, which will no longer display to unknown contacts by default. So if you haven’t chatted with someone before, they’ll no longer be able to see information about your activity on the app.

Before, you’d have to manually change your Last Seen settings to “My Contacts” if you wanted to hide your activity from unknown users. But now the feature will default to only displaying your status to your contacts. As WABetaInfo pointed out, this also means third-party apps will no longer be able to monitor your status.

“We are excited to be rolling out an update that improves the privacy and security of our users by making it harder for people you don’t know and haven’t chatted with to view your Last Seen and Online status on WhatsApp,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told CNET by email. “This will not change anything between you and your friends, family, and businesses who you know and have connected with.”

This isn’t the only privacy-focused change WhatsApp has made recently. Last week, the company gave its users the option to make their messages disappear by default after a day, a week or a few months.

Privacy has been a key topic for WhatsApp in 2021, with the company facing scrutiny at the start of the year after it announced changes to its privacy policy. The company was later fined $260 million for privacy violations in the EU. And its parent company, Meta, has been under fire for valuing profits over the privacy of its Facebook and WhatsApp users.

The recent changes appear to be intended to assuage some of those privacy concerns by concealing your activity from people you don’t know.

Source: https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/whatsapp-changes-last-seen-feature-hides-from-strangers-by-default/

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