Facebook came up with an announcement on Thursday that surprised many. Facebook announced it would start the test for end-to-end encryption as the default setting in messenger. This news about end-to-end encryption has come up when it faces backlash for handing over chats to Nebraska cops investigating an alleged illegal abortion.
Facebook Starts End-To-End Encryption Testing
Image source: Facebook
Facebook has started the most important test for its upcoming privacy feature. This would be the default setting in Messenger chats in the future. End-to-end encryption helps to increase the privacy of messages. The data is only between the 2 parties; no third parties can check the content of their messages.
Privacy Advocates are Against the Decisions of Facebook
Recently, some of the court documents reported by NBC News made people know that Meta provided chat data of a teenager and her mother on the messenger to the Nebraska police. Facebook’s step of providing access to the very crucial chat between a mother and a teenager is strongly objected to by many. The disclosure of this chat has led to massive problems for the teen and her mother.
Facebook revealed the reasons for sharing the Data
Facebook’s owner Meta revealed a warrant was issued by the Norfolk Police department. The Police department detective also asked Facebook for “Profile contact information, wall postings, and friend listing with mother’s Facebook ID. The warrant also requested photos and important private messages from April.
The Lincoln Journal Star has stated that Facebook shared the data containing private messages related to abortion.
End-To-End Encryption is Important for Facebook
Facebook spokesperson Alex Dziedzan said: “E2E encryption is a complex feature to implement and that the test is limited to a couple of hundred users for now so that the company can ensure the system is working properly. The move was not a response to any law enforcement requests”.
Meta explained: “It had planned to roll out the test for months. The company had previously announced plans to make E2E encryption the default is 2022 but pushed the date back to 2023.”
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Shifting E2E Encryption from a per-chat basis to a default option
This shift in the availability of end-to-end encryption for all users on a default basis will take time. Currently, the tests are run between some people only.
Facebook also made an announcement that it is also testing a new secure storage feature. This will help users to take a backup of their end-to-end encrypted chats easily. There will be different options available even for restoring the stored messages quickly. Facebook has started doing special tests to provide an extremely secure experience on Messenger and Instagram. As per Facebook, it will be able to access messages only when someone reports some messages.
Facebook is testing the secure storage feature only on Android and iOS. There is no news about testing this storage feature on messenger.com, desktops, and chats. Facebook is removing the vanish mode feature, but the disappearing mode will be available even after the launch of default end-to-end encryption.
We would have to watch to see how Facebook would take this and whether it would make end-to-end encryption the default for its messenger. The complete implementation of end-to-end encryption would make us know the pros and cons of this implementation of the end-to-end encryption by Meta on its different Apps.