Meta is introducing end-to-end encryption for one-on-one chats and calls on Messenger. This means that when you turn on end-to-end encryption, only you and the person you’re messaging can see the content of your conversation, according to the company.
Encrypted chats were initially offered as an optional feature in Messenger back in 2016. However, after a lengthy process, Meta has now made end-to-end encryption the standard for messages and calls between two people.
Encrypted Messenger Privacy
Loredana Crisan, VP of Messenger, mentioned in a statement to The Verge that it took years to implement this feature because they wanted to make sure they got it right. The company’s team, including engineers, cryptographers, designers, policy experts, and product managers, worked hard to rebuild Messenger features from the ground up.
As per Crisan, you won’t lose any Messenger features when using encrypted chats. This means you can still enjoy things like themes and custom reactions. However, Crisan mentions that it might “take some time” for all Messenger chats to transition to default encryption.
Although it’s a positive move, currently, end-to-end encryption for group Messenger chats is an optional feature. Additionally, default encryption is not yet in place for Instagram messages. However, Meta stated in August that this would happen “shortly after” the implementation of default private Messenger chats.
From Zuckerberg’s Vision of Encrypted Messaging
In 2019, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, revealed the company’s intention to transition towards encrypted ephemeral messages across its messaging apps. In a Facebook post, he expressed his belief in the future of communication leaning towards private, encrypted services.
Zuckerberg emphasized the importance of people being confident that their conversations remain secure and that their messages and content won’t be stored indefinitely. He expressed his hope that this envisioned future would be realized with the company’s efforts.
Making encryption the default setting implies that Meta won’t have access to the content of most Messenger chats, and it also means they won’t be able to provide that information to law enforcement.
In a notable incident last year, Meta made headlines when a 17-year-old from Nebraska and her mother were charged with a crime related to an illegal abortion, and the police obtained their Messenger chat history. Critics of encryption argue that this technology makes it more challenging to identify wrongdoers on messaging apps like WhatsApp, which is already encrypted by default.
Meta is now making Messenger chats more private with end-to-end encryption. Loredana Crisan, VP of Messenger, mentioned that it took a while to get it right. They’re working to ensure you don’t lose any features during encrypted chats. The transition to default encryption is happening gradually. This move emphasizes Meta’s dedication to user security as communication technology evolves.