Meta Pushes Back End-to-End Encryption on Platforms Until 2023

The company initially said the process would be complete by 2022

Facebook Messenger and Instagram won't get defaulted end-to-end encryption (E2EE) capabilities until 2023 now. 

The platforms' parent company, Meta (formerly Facebook), announced that it would push back its original plans of enabling E2EE by 2022, according to The Sunday Telegraph. In April, Facebook said E2EE would "protect people's private messages and mean only the sender and recipient, not even us, can access their messages." Now, however, Meta's global head of safety, Antigone Davis, told the Telegraph over the weekend that the company is working with privacy and safety experts and governments to ensure it gets E2EE right. 

Encrypted messaging

Getty Images/EThamPhoto

E2EE is essential for user privacy since it protects your messages from cybercriminals intercepting them and collecting your data. It also keeps the platform (like Facebook) from accessing the content of your messages and targeting ads to you.

Meta's WhatsApp has been using E2EE since 2016, so while the company knows how to execute it properly, CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously said Messenger and Instagram's E2EE is a "long-term project." WhatsApp also recently enabled E2EE encryption for users' backup messages to store those messages in either Google Drive or iCloud.

However, despite the wide range of privacy benefits that E2EE brings, some experts believe it could open the door for abusers and other bad actors to access children and young online users. Still, others say encryption is worth it, and some suggest platforms like Facebook could offer a back door in the encryption that could be used to monitor specific messaging threads. 

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