Messenger starts rolling out default end-to-end encryption in chats

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Meta is rolling out end-to-end encryption for calls and messages across its Messenger and Facebook. The company’s head of Messenger, Loredana Crisan, announced this a couple of days ago.

With this, no other user other than the sender and the recipient will be able to see or view conversations between users. Going forward, end-to-end encryption will now be the standard for all users on both platforms.

This has taken years to deliver because we’ve taken our time to get this right,” Crisan wrote in a blog post. “Our engineers, cryptographers, designers, policy experts, and product managers have worked tirelessly to rebuild Messenger features from the ground up.“.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg had in 2019 promised to bring end-to-end encryption to its platforms in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that rocked the social media company.

Back in August 2022, Meta announced that it was going to start testing end-to-end encryption. The company announced back then that it would be a default option for some users of the Messenger app.

The announcement came as Meta was getting adverse reactions after it was revealed that it handed over messages to a Nebraska authority. It helped the department file charges against a teen for conducting an illegal abortion. 

Prior to this announcement, end-to-end encryption was not available on Messenger by default. However, you need to opt into the feature. When enabled, the only people who could access the content were the sender and recipient. In that case, if law enforcement requested it, Facebook could not hand it over. 

End-to-end encryption is a useful feature. However, it is difficult to implement. That’s why the testing was only limited to a few people during the test period. In that way, the company can guarantee that the system will work properly when it launches widely. 

Furthermore, Meta said that its decision to test the feature is not a response to a law enforcement request. For months now, Meta has been planning to test it. It announced its plans in early 2022 but delayed them until 2023. 

In June 2022, a detective from Norfolk asked the company for vital information about the mother’s Facebook ID. The detective also requested photos and private messages from the subject. 

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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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