Meta plans to set full encryption as default across its messaging apps. But it has met heavy scrutiny from different parties. To show the value of encryption, Meta’s WhatsApp has launched a new campaign to highlight how important privacy is for users. And it has an overstated sample of how unprotected messages are vulnerable.
Over 5.5 billion texts are sent every day.
All personal. All unencrypted. ????
On WhatsApp, end-to-end encryption ???? ensures that no one can read or listen to your personal messages—not even us.
Are you messaging privately? pic.twitter.com/vRMphDjrEU
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 30, 2022
The new ad campaign likens the lack of security around SMS texts to the openness of physical mail. While this is overly exaggerated, the emphasis has value. Would you want other people to read your letters? Would you want third-party providers to sniff and intercept your text messages?
Meta is in the process of integrating its messaging apps—WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct. You could have a unified inbox where you can access your messages from and in any of these apps. You get to continue chats with friends across each app.
A byproduct of this plan is the upgrade to full encryption across all these apps. It will ensure secure messaging across.
Governments and watchdogs in nearly all countries have raised concerns about this idea. They think it will limit their capacity investigate criminals.
If none can trace or access these exchanges, internally or externally, it gives untraceable reign to criminals. They can tap fearlessly on Meta’s network to establish, organize, and exchange illegal material.
Conversely, the rising concern to give users more control over their privacy and online content has gained momentum.
The EU has been executing privacy laws to protect people’s online content. The UK Information Commissioner has found that encryption reinforces online safety by reducing exposure to threats, such as blackmail. And it allows businesses to share private connections.
WhatsApp’s new campaign will fuel more fires.