Meta isn’t ready to E2E encrypt your Facebook and Instagram messages by default just yet
Meta — the company behind Facebook and Instagram — has shared an update regarding its end-to-end (E2E) encryption plans. The company had promised that it would E2E encrypt Facebook and Instagram messages by default during 2022. Now it has pushed this deadline till “sometime in 2023” — a year later. Meta already E2E encrypts WhatsApp messages by default, but its other services aren’t ready to follow suit just yet.
According to The Telegraph, Meta won’t be ready to E2E encrypt direct messages received on Facebook Messenger and Instagram in 2022. The company’s head of global safety — Antigone Davis — has stated that the feature will be delayed till 2023. Meta claims that this is because it needs extra time to coordinate with experts regarding combating online abuse without sacrificing user privacy. Antigone states:
We’re taking our time to get this right and we don’t plan to finish the global rollout of end-to-end encryption by default across all our messaging services until sometime in 2023. As a company that connects billions of people around the world and has built industry-leading technology, we’re determined to protect people’s private communications and keep people safe online.
Following the 2022 deadline announcement, some government officials and institutions raised some concerns. These included public and child safety ones. Back in August, Instagram stated it would be testing E2E encryption for DMs with adults, as an opt-in option available in certain regions. However, the option remains unavailable for most users. Davis adds:
Third, we’re actively encouraging people to report harmful messages to us and will prompt them to do so when we think there could be a problem. Once they do, we can view the reported message, investigate the content, offer support where appropriate, and take action where necessary. Where we find abuse, we make referrals to the authorities and respond swiftly to valid requests for data to support law enforcement investigations – as we always will.
Meta encourages people to take action and report harmful messages. Additionally, it assures users that all reports are looked into and investigated. The company also shares user data with law enforcement authorities — when requested.
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