Meta is delaying end-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger and Instagram until 2023 — here’s why

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Meta is delaying end-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger and Instagram until 2023 — here’s why
End-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger and Instagram was earlier expected to release in 2022.Unsplash
  • Meta’s plans to fully encrypt Messenger and Instagram have been delayed until 2023.
  • The company was supposed to release the feature early next year.
  • End-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram was announced along with the merger of the two apps.
Meta (formerly Facebook) had announced back in 2019 its plans to offer a unified messaging system with privacy in mind. The first part of the plan is in action but the second part might take more time. Facebook Messenger and Instagram as part of this plan were supposed to get end-to-end encryption by default but it won’t happen at least until 2023, according to a report by The Guardian.

End-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger and Instagram was earlier planned for “sometime in 2022 at the earliest”, according to a blog post by Meta. But the company is now delaying this feature to 2023. “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,” Antigone Davis, Meta’s head of safety was quoted as saying in The Telegraph.

The reason behind the delay is due to user safety concerns as Meta wants to make sure end-to-end encryption doesn’t prevent it from helping track criminal activity on its platforms. Under its new encryption plans, Meta would be able to use non-encrypted data, account information and reports from users to detect abuse on its platforms, a system already in place for WhatsApp. Since end-to-encryption means that messages are only seen by the sender and recipient, this might make it difficult to detect any sort of abuse or criminal activity on the platform.

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WhatsApp already has end-to-end encryption enabled by default, and Messenger video and voice calls as well. The plan is now to enable end-to-end encryption by default on Messenger and Instagram. The two platforms merged last year with Meta giving Instagram and Messenger users the ability to send messages across platforms. As part of this unification, Zuckerberg had also announced encryption on both these platforms.

However, it looks like Meta still has work to do on its encryption plans for Instagram and Messenger by making it more robust against any form of abuse users might face on the platforms.

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