Meta to roll out default end-to-end encryption for Messenger – Meta announced today that the firm intends to make end-to-end encryption the default setting for Messenger before the end of this year. In addition, the internet behemoth is expanding its testing of end-to-end encryption features to “millions more people’s chats.”
For years, Meta has been working on end-to-end encryption features for Messenger. However, the majority of them were optional or experimental. Meta began rolling out end-to-end encryption security in 2016 via a “secret conversations” option. It implemented such a feature for voice and video calls on the app in 2021. In January 2022, the firm made a similar move to provide end-to-end encryption for group chats and calls. Meta began testing end-to-end encryption for individual chats in August 2022.
Meta is under increasing pressure to provide end-to-end encryption so that the company or others do not have access to users’ chat communications. Individual contacts have become more crucial since a teenager and her mother pled guilty to abortion charges in Nebraska in July when Meta handed over her DMs to cops. Last year, the police charged the 17-year-old based on data from her Messenger direct communications provided by Meta, shortly after the Supreme Court overruled Roe v Wade, a 1973 decision that legalized abortion.
The company noted in a blog post that developing encryption features for Messenger presented major obstacles. The company stated that it had to abandon the old server architecture and provide a new approach for individuals to control their conversation history using safeguards such as a PIN.
To support end-to-end encryption, Meta said it had to rebuild over 100 functionalities, such as presenting link previews in discussions. For years, the company’s popular messaging service WhatsApp has used end-to-end encryption, and in recent years it has discovered a mechanism to handle several devices for one user without breaking encryption. According to Meta, the Messenger team is learning from WhatsApp in order to achieve end-to-end encryption.
Authorities around the world have been looking into rules that might jeopardize encryption in messaging apps. While Meta has resisted these demands to support end-to-end encryption via WhatsApp, it has yet to completely implement these safeguards for Messenger and Instagram DMs.