Meta will not bring encrypted messages over to its Instagram or Facebook Messenger platforms “until sometime in 2023” according to an official statement.
If you were hoping to see encrypted messages spread beyond WhatsApp and onto Instagram and Facebook Messenger as well, then you’re going to have to be patient for the time being. The parent company of both networks, now named Meta, has officially announced that such a change will not occur until the year after next.
Antigone Davis, Meta’s Global Director of Security, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph: “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. As a company that connects billions of people around the world and has built industry-leading technology, we’re determined to protect people’s private communications and keep people safe online.”
This decision marks a delay to the process, as encryption was initially intended to be introduced to these platforms by 2022. However, there is significant controversy surrounding its rollout, with privacy concerns on the one hand and safety concerns on the other.
Quoted by The Guardian, the NSPCC’s head of child safety online policy, Andy Burrows, said: “Facebook is right not to proceed with end-to-end encryption until it has a proper plan to prevent child abuse going undetected on its platforms. But they should only go ahead with these measures when they can demonstrate they have the technology in place that will ensure children will be at no greater risk of abuse.”
Yet despite these concerns, many users are more worried by the potential breaches of privacy that can occur when their messages do not have the added security of end-to-end encryption.