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WhatsApp adds biometric requirements for desktop and web access

Last year, WhatsApp was spotted working on a security feature that would require users to authenticate their web access using their fingerprint. Now, the service has formally introduced the new measure.

WhatsApp announced today that you’ll now need to verify your identity using your biometric information when you access your account on desktop and the web. This means that when you try to link WhatsApp's web or desktop version to its mobile app, you'll have to confirm access with face or fingerprint unlock on your handset, provided that these features are enabled on your phone.

In the previous setup, WhatsApp would only require you to scan a QR code using its mobile app when you log in to your account through the web app. The additional layer of security is expected to prevent anyone from linking your account without your consent. It also complements WhatsApp's existing security measure, which pushes notification to your phone for every login made on the web or desktop.

After you've confirmed your identity, you’ll still need to scan a QR code with your smartphone just like before. The new security feature is turned on by default, although you can choose to disable face or fingerprint unlock on your phone if you wish to switch off biometric requirements when you link your account.

The Facebook-owned service vows not to access your biometric information in the process. That said, WhatsApp will soon roll out its updated privacy policy that lets Facebook access some personal information.

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