WhatsApp has rolled out support for Google’s passkeys, a feature that allows users to employ biometric data for logging in. This development comes as a part of the messaging giant’s ongoing efforts to enhance user privacy and data protection.
WhatsApp’s integration with Google’s passkeys has been in the beta phase for Android users for a few weeks and is now available to all. This feature is particularly beneficial for those who have enabled two-step verification pins or fingerprint locks. With passkeys, WhatsApp will use your biometric data to access encrypted information or log you in if you forget your password.
Interestingly, WhatsApp chose not to make a formal announcement about this feature. Instead, the company released a short video on its X account to inform users that the service is now live. As of writing, the most recent Android version (184.108.40.206) does not yet support passkeys. It remains unclear whether an update will be released on Google Play or if the feature will be server-enabled, like other Meta apps.
Setting up passkeys on WhatsApp is straightforward. Users must first activate them via their Google accounts. To do so, one needs to visit a specific link, click the blue “Get Access Keys” button, and follow the on-screen instructions. Once completed, simply open WhatsApp on your Android device. To generate an exclusive key for the app, navigate to Settings > Account > Passkeys.
The introduction of passkeys adds another layer of security, making it safer than traditional passwords and two-step SMS verification. This feature operates on any device that is part of the FIDO alliance, which includes tech giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
Passkeys are currently only available for Android users, with no details on when they will be introduced for iOS. It’s worth noting that WhatsApp is not the only app to support Google’s access keys. Other platforms like PayPal, eBay, TikTok, Safari, WordPress, and NVIDIA also offer this security feature.