WhatsApp has eliminated the ability to download the profile picture of their friends to protect security and privacy: here's what changes
WhatsApp updates and eliminates a feature widely used by users: saving the profile picture of their friends. This is a big news, especially from the privacy point of view. As we reported a couple of months ago, in fact, WhatsApp profile images are used by criminals to plot online scams and steal tens of thousands.
The choice of WhatsApp to delete the feature comes a few days after the scandal that hit the application: exploiting a vulnerability in the code hackers were able to install spyware on the smartphone of a user by making a simple phone call through the app. In order to prevent any problems with privacy, the developers have decided to also eliminate the possibility of saving users' profile pictures on their phone's memory. For the moment, the novelty has been released only in the beta version of WhatsApp for Android and in WhatsApp Business for iPhone. If the tests are successful, the new feature will soon make its debut on other versions of WhatsApp as well.
Why you can no longer save friends' profile pictures on WhatsApp
WhatsApp has cancelled the ability to save friends' WhatsApp profile pictures for two related reasons: security and privacy. There have been many cases where users have reported misuse of their WhatsApp profile picture: scammers use it to perpetrate scams on their friends. The scammer downloads a person's image from WhatsApp and creates a new WhatsApp profile with the same image. At that point he contacts the friends of this person, sending a message in which he says that he is in financial difficulty and needs a few tens of euros to be able to return home. Many people believed these scams and gave the hackers even a hundred euros. To put an end to these scams, the developers have decided to eliminate the problem at the root and no longer allow users to download WhatsApp profile photos on their smartphones.
How WhatsApp changes
For users it's not a big change, it's not a feature that will change WhatsApp forever. On the contrary. It increases the security and privacy of users. There will only be a small change at the interface level: it will disappear from the profile tab of WhatsApp contacts the sharing icon that allowed to save the image or share it on social profiles.
Although it will no longer be possible to save the WhatsApp profile photo of your friends, there is a simple trick to get around the problem: take a screenshot.