A new feature in WhatsApp will let you hide your IP address from whoever you call using the app. Knowing someone’s IP address can reveal a lot of personal information such as their location and internet service provider, so having the option to hide it is a major privacy win. “This new feature provides an additional layer of privacy and security geared towards our most privacy-conscious users,” WhatsApp wrote in a blog post.
WhatsApp currently relays calls either through its own servers or by establishing a direct connection called peer-to-peer with whoever you are calling depending on network conditions. Peer-to-peer calls often provide better voice quality, but require both devices to know each other’s IP addresses.
Once you turn the new feature, known simply as “Protect IP address in calls” on, however, WhatsApp will always relay your calls through its own servers rather than establishing a peer-to-peer connection, even if it means a slight hit to sound quality. All calls will continue to remain end-to-end encrypted, even if they go through WhatsApp’s servers, the company said.
WhatsApp has been adding more privacy features over the last few months. In June, the company added a feature that let people automatically silence unknown callers. It also introduced a “Privacy Checkup” section to allow users to tune up a host of privacy settings from a single place in the app, and earlier this year, added a feature that lets people lock certain chats with a fingerprint or facial recognition.
So this means that Meta / Facebook / Whatsapp will now know who you are calling with, once you turn this privacy feature on. So to gain some privacy towards the end caller, you sacrifice privacy towards Meta.
In other news, it’s easy to find the IP address of someone you are whatsapping with
Organisational Structures | Technology and Science | Military, IT and Lifestyle consultancy | Social, Broadcast & Cross Media | Flying aircraft