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Business News/ Technology / News/  Instagram, Facebook Messenger to not get default end-to-end encryption till 2023: Report
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Instagram, Facebook Messenger to not get default end-to-end encryption till 2023: Report

While users can opt to activate E2EE for messages sent through Messenger and Instagram, that option isn't turned on by default and likely won't be until sometime in 2023

Meta has attributed the delay in default end-to-end encryption for Instagram and Facebook Messenger to concerns about user safety. (AP)Premium
Meta has attributed the delay in default end-to-end encryption for Instagram and Facebook Messenger to concerns about user safety. (AP)

Meta, earlier known as Facebook, has no plans to roll out default end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for Instagram and Facebook Messenger till 2023. The social media giant had merged Instagram chats and Messenger last year to create a unified messaging platform across all of its subsidiaries.

While users can opt to activate E2EE for messages sent through Messenger and Instagram, that option isn't turned on by default and likely won't be until sometime in 2023, The Verge reported. WhatsApp, another messaging platform owned by Meta, already supports end-to-end encryption by default.

Antigone Davis, Meta's head of safety, attributed the delay to concerns over user safety, the report said quoting sources. Since E2EE means only the sender and recipient will see their conversations, Davis said Meta wants to ensure that this doesn't interfere with the platform's ability to help stop criminal activity.

Once E2EE does become available by default, Davis noted that the company will “use a combination of non-encrypted data across our apps, account information and reports from users" to help keep them safe, all while “assisting public safety efforts."

Meta had mentioned in a blog post earlier this year that default E2EE would become available on Instagram and Messenger, “sometime in 2022 at the earliest". But now, since Meta wants to “get this right", Davis said the company plans on delaying the feature's debut until 2023.

The UK's Online Safety bill will also come into effect in 2023, which will require online platforms to protect children from harm, as well as promptly take action against abusive content. This may impede Facebook's plans to enable E2EE by default, as the UK's Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has criticised its use in the past.

Last year, the US joined the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and Japan in a call to give local law enforcement backdoor encryption access, which would allow authorities to view encrypted messages and files if a warrant is issued.

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Published: 22 Nov 2021, 04:39 PM IST
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