WhatsApp May Soon Let Users Hide Their ‘Last Seen’ Status

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WhatsApp is working on updating its privacy policy settings with the introduction of a feature that will allow users to disable their Last Seen status, as well as their profile pictures and About message for specific contacts that they can set. The feature will apparently launch in both iOS and Android devices.

Currently, profile information like the above is visible depending on the perspective user’s preferences – either visible to anyone, visible only to their contacts, or visible to no one.

With the planned future update to privacy, users will be able to hide particular profile information from specific contacts they can see with the “My Contacts Except…” option.

According to images released by WABetaInfo, who also first reported on the planned update, users will be able to use the “My Contacts Except…” option to hide their personal info similar to how the option can currently be used to block unknown group invites or to hide status updates from certain contacts.

The “My Contacts Except…” option for Last Seen. Image sourced from WABetaInfo.

The system is apparently also reciprocal – meaning that when you block contacts from seeing your information, WhatsApp will also hide their information from you.

WhatsApp Fined Record Amount for Alleged Data Breaches

These new updates to privacy on the ubiquitous chat app come right on the heels of the Facebook-owned company being fined a record $266-million by an Irish data protection regulator for allegedly failing to uphold EU data rules around transparency in 2018.

Ireland’s Data Privacy Commissioner (DPC), the lead privacy regulator for Facebook and its companies within the European Union, said the fine was based around WhatsApp’s transparency to its data subjects.

WhatsApp called the fine “entirely disproportionate” and said that it would appeal.

By Luis Monzon
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