Meta is planning to end the default end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for Instagram and Facebook Messenger by 2023. The social media giant last year merged Instagram Chat and Messenger to create a unified messaging platform for all its subsidiaries. According to information from The Verge, users can choose to activate E2EE for messages sent through Messenger and Instagram.
That option isn’t turned on by default and probably won’t be a default feature until sometime in 2023. WhatsApp, another messaging platform owned by Meta, already supports end-to-end encryption by default.
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What does the report say?
The report quoted sources as saying that Meta security chief Antigone Davis attributed the delay to concerns about user safety. Since E2EE means that only senders and recipients will see their conversations, Davis said Meta wants to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the platform’s ability to help prevent criminal activity.
Meta mentioned in a blog post earlier this year that default E2EE will be available on Instagram and Messenger in 2022. But now, as Meta ‘wants to get this right’, Davis said the company plans to delay the feature’s debut until 2023.
The UK’s online safety bill will also go into effect in 2023, which will require online platforms to protect children from harm, as well as take prompt action against abusive content. This could hamper Facebook’s plan to enable E2EE by default, as UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has previously criticized its use.
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Last year, the US joined the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and Japan in offering local law enforcement backdoor encryption access that would allow authorities to view encrypted messages and files if warrants are issued.
Tags: Facebook, Instagram, tech news