Instagram is testing E2E encryption chat feature

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Image Credit: Salmon Memon

Meta is expanding access to its end-to-end encryption feature, which will give opportunities to more users. The social media giant is now testing its E2E feature on Instagram; specifically on IG Direct chats.

Per app researcher Salman Memon, some users are now able to see new pop-up alert that allows them to switch on E2E in their Instagram chats. Memon posted a screenshot showing the new pop-up alert, with little information from Instagram explaining that “not all chat features are available yet…”

Last month, Meta announced the expansion of its end-to-end encryption feature to more users. In a statement, the company said:

Last year, we started a limited test of opt-in end-to-end encrypted messages and calls on Instagram, and in February we broadened the test to include adults in Ukraine and Russia. Soon, we’ll expand the test even further to include people in more countries and add more features like group chats.

Last year, Meta announced that is unlikely to turn on E2EE by default until 2023. Meta’s head of safety Antigone Davis said the delay has to do with user safety. Davis said Meta wants to ensure that E2EE does not interfere with the platform’s ability to help curb criminal activities.

Once the encryption feature becomes available by default, Davis said that Meta will “use a combination of non-encrypted data across our apps, account information and reports from users” to help keep them safe, all while “assisting public safety efforts.”

Facebook’s stand contradicts what the company said earlier. According to Facebook, the plan was to roll out E2EE by default in 2022.

Still on security and privacy, last year, Facebook announced the shutting down of its Face Recognition feature. The company made this known earlier in a blog post.

Facebook will also stop using facial recognition algorithms to tag people in photographs and videos as part of the coming change. It will delete the facial recognition templates that it uses for identification.

Jerome Pesenti, VP artificial intelligence at Meta, describes the change as part of “company-wide move to limit the use of facial recognition in our products.”

Facebook was embroiled in a privacy violation lawsuit that accused the company of violating Illinois’ biometric privacy law. This led to a $650 million settlement in February 2021.

The change will also affect Automatic Alt Text [AAT] that creates image descriptions for blind and visually-impaired people. After the change, AAT descriptions will no longer include the names of people recognized in photos—this will function normally.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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