WhatApp thrilled users in January when they revealed compatibility with Face ID and Touch ID, allowing users to open, and continue utilizing their app, with the recognition of their facial features or a fingerprint. However, a recent malfunction with the new upgrade is leaving accounts requiring no verification at all and indirectly encouraging privacy invasion.
Upon enabling Face ID and Touch ID, WhatsApp users are prompted on whether they’d like their authentication “immediately” or in intervals ranging from one minute to one hour. If the option for intervals is selected, the app will use recognition in the allotted time frame during use to ensure the correct person is still browsing the app. Despite the extra security measure, one Reddit user found a loop hole in the app’s code and is warning others who utilize the feature. It seems that, by selection the option of timed intervals, users are able to close out of the app entirely and reopen it without any verification needed. The only users not affected by this glitch are those that have chosen the “immediate” verification.
Although not a high security risk, it still leaves many susceptible to snooping by others who may have access to their phone. A representative for Facebook said, “We are aware of the issue and a fix will be available shortly. In the meantime, we recommend that people set the screen lock option to ‘immediately’.”