End-to-End Encryption Coming to Messenger and Instagram!
The company plans to enable end-to-end encryption for Messenger by default by the end of this year, Meta said today. The tech giant is also expanding its testing of end-to-end encryption features to “millions more people’s chats.”
The company has been building end-to-end encryption features into Messenger for years, but most of them have been optional or experimental. In 2016, Meta began offering end-to-end encryption protection for the first time through its “secret conversations” mode.
In 2021, it offered such an option for voice and video calls in the app, followed by a similar move in January 2022 to offer end-to-endencryption for group chats and calls. In August 2022, it began testing end-to-end ncryption for individual chats on a large scale for the first time.
There is increasing pressure on Meta to enable end-to-end encrypton so that the company or others cannot access users’ chat messages. Protecting individual communications became more important when a Nebraska girl and her mother pleaded guilty to abortion charges in July after Meta turned over their DMs to police.
Meta Describes the Challenges of End-to-End Encryption
In a letter to digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future earlier this month, Rob Sherman, Meta’s deputy chief privacy officer, said that they would be bringing end-to-endencryption to Instagram DMs following the launch of Messenger. He also noted that “the testing phase is taking longer than expected” due to engineering challenges.
In a blog post, the company explained that there were significant challenges in building encryption features for Messenger. The company said it had to scrap its legacy server architecture and create a new way for people to manage their chat history through protections like PINs.
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