End-to-end encryption to begin on Messenger towards the end of 2023
End-to-end encryption on Messenger?

Published August 25, 2023
by Jivika Lillaney

min read


    Earlier this week, tech giant Meta, announced that it would roll out mandatory end-to-end encryption (E2EE) on Messenger, its messaging app used by over 1 billion users worldwide, towards the end of this year.

    Meta had previously tried this feature during two phases - in 2016, it created ‘secret conversations’ as an option for users, and in 2021, it introduced options such as voice or video chat. These phases were completely optional. Today, Meta is under extreme pressure to increase safety for users and avoid leaking and breaches of privacy, and has started rolling out test features to implement E2EE:

    "As we continue to increase the scale of our tests, and prepare to roll out the upgraded service, people will need to update their app to a recent build to access default E2EE. This is why it will take longer than we first anticipated to transition all messages to E2EE."

    -Timothy Buck, Product Manager for Messenger (Source: Tech Wire

    As defined by Google, end-to-end encryption is a security measure that keeps conversations secure. This means that the company itself, a third party, or any other user cannot read private conversations even if they have any means to do so. The process includes deleting messages from the sender’s device when a created message is encrypted and deleting from the receiver’s device when a message is decrypted. This provides a shield for users not to be afraid of communicating and be secure from data leaks.

    Messenger is learning from another one of Meta’s popular messaging app, WhatsApp, which has implemented mandatory E2EE for all its users since 2016. These changes are significantly coming through due to the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s privacy-focused vision for social networking.

    “We’re building a foundation for social communication aligned with the direction people increasingly care about messaging each other privately”

                 -Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Meta (Source: The New York Times)

    Meta has famously been in murky waters with data privacy regulators over the last few years. The company was at the top of the list of 2022’s biggest data privacy fines and kicked off 2023 with a record-breaking €1.2 billion ($1.3B) sanction in Europe.

    Does end-to-end encryption matter to you when signing up for a messaging app? Join the conversation in our Yes We Trust community, a free discussion group for data privacy professionals and enthusiasts, on LinkedIn:

    Go to the Yes We Trust community

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