For quite some time now, Facebook has been planning to turn on end-to-end encryption by default for everyone using its Messenger platform. Now, a report by The Verge suggests that Messenger is testing the feature for chats ‘between some people’.
For the uninitiated, Messenger allows users to turn on end-to-end encryption, but users must enable the same for every chat manually. Only privacy-conscious individuals seem to be using the feature. With more than a billion users on the platform, end-to-end encryption being enabled by default for everyone using Messenger could be a big step up for the service in terms of privacy.
The platform today said they were on track to turn on end-to-end encryption by default for all chats and calls next year in 2023.
What is end-to-end encryption?
End-to-end encryption is a service that encrypts the contents of a message so only the sender and the receiver can decrypt it, making the contents of the message, be it text or media, inaccessible to users outside of this loop. Even the platform itself is unable to recover the contents of end-to-end encrypted messages.
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What this basically means is that Facebook will no longer be able to view the contents of users’ chats. Recently, Facebook faced a huge backlash when the U.S police asked the social media to share Messenger chat history between a teen and her mother after the reversal of Roe v Wade, which led to the duo’s in an abortion case.
Facebook also announced a new feature called ‘secure storage’ that will help users encrypt user chat history backup stored on the cloud. Some features currently under development include the ability to unsend messages and syncing deleted messages across devices.