Your Instagram and Facebook Messenger chats aren't going to be encrypted like WhatsApp until 2023, Meta says

Your Instagram and Facebook Messenger chats aren't going to be encrypted like WhatsApp until 2023, Meta says
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
  • Facebook, now Meta, announced in 2019 it would end-to-end encrypt messages on all its platforms.
  • But it won't now finish doing this until 2023, its global safety chief told The Sunday Telegraph.

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, won't finish making your chats on Facebook Messenger and Instagram end-to-end encrypted until 2023, according to its global safety chief.

Antigone Davis wrote in the UK newspaper The Sunday Telegraph about the company's efforts to preserve childrens' safety on its platforms. "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," Davis said.

In April, Davis told The Telegraph that the company would finish making Facebook and Instagram messenger end-to-end encrypted by 2022 at the earliest.

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End-to-end encryption means that only senders and recipients are able to view the messages they send to one another.

Meta's private messaging app WhatsApp already uses end-to-end encryption, and in 2019 Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company would merge all its messaging services' infrastructure to use encryption.


In the UK, Meta has been fighting a political battle over end-to-end encryption on its services, with a particular emphasis on child safety. In 2019, home secretary Priti Patel pressured Meta to provide workarounds so law enforcement could access people's end-to-end encrypted messages, along with officials from the Five Eyes intelligence alliance that comprises the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Meta says end-to-end encryption is important for user privacy and that it can help law enforcement identify criminals with metadata — the data that doesn't relate to the actual contents of a message.

Davis wrote in The Sunday Telegraph: "We believe people shouldn't have to choose between privacy and safety, which is why we are building strong safety measures into our plans and engaging with privacy and safety experts, civil society and governments to make sure we get this right."