Facebook tests default encryption on Messenger


If the end-to-end encryption feature was already present on Messenger since 2016 in several forms, a recent update will allow, after the test phase, all users to access it automatically and easily.

Private messages on Messenger will become encrypted

© Getty Images

Messenger is preparing a new security filter to prevent anyone from seeing through the keyhole. End-to-end encryption, the system that protects the content and personal data of the individuals who use it, could soon be automatically applied to all your messages. In a communicatedFacebook announced the implementation of tests in this direction, starting this week.

Simply put, message encryption ensures that the content exchanged in a conversation is only accessible to its participants. An effective way to complicate the access of a third person to this private data. Until now, this feature was already available on Messenger under the name “fleeting conversation“, but it was up to the user to enable it.

End-to-end secure messaging.

End-to-end secure messaging.

© Messenger / Meta

It’s all about timing

Messenger, and by extension Meta, have long been criticized for lacking security and user data protection. While several other messaging apps like WhatsApp — also owned by Meta — or Signal already offer end-to-end encryption, Messenger was dragging its feet.

Recently, the question of the confidentiality of conversations has also been at the heart of the news with the case of Jessica Burgess, this 17-year-old teenager prosecuted for having had an illegal abortion. The Californian company plays an important role in this dispute, since it was forced by the authorities to share the private conversations of the young woman, which made it possible to prove that she had had an abortion with the help of her mother.

Encryption for all will be for 2023

It is plausible that the encryption of the messages would have made it possible to avoid, or at least to limit this disappointment, which probably explains Meta’s enthusiasm to move forward on the subject. But it will still be necessary to be patient before the billion users of Facebook have access to this functionality. Due to its number of subscribers, the social network claims that it cannot implement encryption for all before 2023.

By the way, in addition to this important new feature, Messenger is also testing the “secure storage“, allowing everyone to save their history of encrypted messages in the event of loss or change of telephone.

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