This will be an opt-in feature but will be enabled by default. You need to scan your face or fingerprint before you scan the QR code on your PC. This is a massive security upgrade that makes it very difficult for others (with physical access to your phone) to get access to your chats without your knowledge or permission. It was first spotted to be in the works in September last year.
Now, they will not be able to link your account to WhatsApp web or desktop apps on their PC without biometric authentication. This feature will start rolling out to iOS and Android users in the coming weeks. But, an important thing to remember – you will need to have the pre-existing biometric authentication feature enabled to use this feature. It sits under “Settings > Privacy > Fingerprint Lock/ Screen Lock,” as you can see below. You can read the steps to enable it right here.
This means if you use your fingerprint or Face ID to view your WhatsApp chats, then only will the WhatsApp web and desktop logins require biometric authentication. The login process will work the same way it does right now if you do not enable biometric authentication in the WhatsApp mobile app. And you can simply scan a QR code on your PC to access your chats on the desktop. No additional steps required.
Due to the ongoing privacy debate, the Facebook-owned messaging giant adds that it does not store or access your biometric data (fingerprint or facial scans). The mobile app simply uses the same standard biometric authentication APIs which UPI, banking, or other apps use to verify your identity.
In the official press release, WhatsApp further added that it is “going to be adding a lot more functionality to apps for Mac and Windows, as well as the Web.” Could this be a hint for the long-rumored multi-device functionality?