WhatsApp is rolling out face and fingerprint unlock for its web and desktop clients. The feature helps improve the security of WhatsApp when syncing it to the web or a computer. The new security feature works with both iOS and Android.
It’s important to note that WhatsApp does not gain access to biometrics stored on your device. Authentication is handled by the operating system of devices, and any face or fingerprint data is not available to WhatsApp. This is how authentication works in general, but it’s important to emphasis this as some have wrongly accused WhatsApp of wanting people’s biometrics.
WhatsApp also emphasizes this in its FAQ page about the new security feature:
Note: The authentication is handled by your device’s operating system using the biometrics stored there. WhatsApp can’t access the biometric information stored by your device’s operating system.
That same FAQ page also walks through the steps of setting up WhatsApp web or desktop with your iOS or Android device.
WhatsApp web and desktop are still popular ways to communicate from a Windows 10 PC. They allow you to sync WhatsApp from your phone and send messages from your computer, though your phone has to be on and connected to the web to work. Since they bring WhatsApp to your PC, it’s much easier to type longer messages and to share media.