The new feature requires you to choose a password for encrypting future backups, and you will also need the password when restoring a backup.
For a long time, WhatsApp has been offering end-to-end chat service. But the cloud backups to Google Cloud for Android users and iCloud for iOS users are only server-side encrypted. This means the authorities or the cloud provider can access the chats easily if they need. But for a long time, WhatsApp has been working on securing the backups too.
WhatsApp is now rolling out the much-awaited secure cloud backups to the beta users and later to all the users once it is thoroughly tested. The feature is currently only being tested on Android. As reported by WABetaInfo, the feature was rolling out in the WhatsApp beta version 22.214.171.124. It has been, however, pulled off temporarily in the next update.
The new feature requires you to choose a password for encrypting future backups, and you will also need the password when restoring a backup. The password is private and is not even with WhatsApp. You can also use a 64-digit encryption key instead of a password if you want. This is an even more secure option, as it requires you to remember the keys, and WhatsApp won't help recover the encryption key.
The rollout of end-to-end encryption for cloud chat backups has been temporarily paused due to connection issues, but it willresume soon. Make sure to download the latest version of WhatsApp so that you have access to the feature as soon as it becomes available.