WhatsApp test new screenshot blocking feature to protect users’ profile photos


WhatsApp, the popular global messaging app, is taking your privacy seriously with a new feature currently in beta testing. This update aims to prevent unauthorized contacts from taking screenshots of your profile picture. If this feature rolls out widely, it will be a big win for users who want better control over how their image is shared online.

According to WABetaInfo, the new screenshot blocking feature is currently available to select beta testers on version 2.24.4.25 of the Android app and will be rolled out more broadly in the coming weeks. With the changes implemented, when someone attempts to screenshot a contact’s profile picture, a black screen will appear with a notification that reads: “Can’t take a screenshot due to app restrictions.”

Image Credit: WABetaInfo

This update builds upon a change that WhatsApp implemented five years ago. The aim was to prevent unauthorized image downloads by removing the ability to save other users’ profile photos directly. While well-intentioned, this didn’t stop people from simply screenshotting profile pictures, which still provided them with a way to save the image to their devices. WhatsApp’s new screenshot blocking feature tackles this directly.
 

It’s worth mentioning that determined users could still capture a profile picture using a secondary device. However, this new feature makes it significantly harder to casually share profile pictures, protecting user privacy.

Additionally, as this is currently only available in beta and might take some time to reach all users, it is important to know that there are other options available today to protect your privacy within the app. Currently, you can take small measures such as changing your profile photo privacy settings so that it could only be seen by whomever you choose. While this is also not foolproof, it is another way in which you could potentially discourage bad actors from violating your privacy and using your likeness for unauthorized purposes.



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