Facebook Messenger Rolls Out End-to-End Encryption by Default
Meta is rolling out end-to-end encryption for personal messages and calls on Messenger and Facebook, finally delivering on a pledge it committed to some time ago.
Messenger encryption originally arrived in 2016 in the form of "secret conversations," and plans to extend the platform's cryptographic features have been floated ever since.
According to Loredana Crisan, Head of Messenger, Meta is only now turning on end-to-end encryption for all messages and calls between two people after years spent "rebuilding Messenger features from the ground up."
Since 2016, Messenger has had the option for people to turn on end-to-end encryption, but we're now changing private chats and calls across Messenger to be end-to-end encrypted by default. This has taken years to deliver because we've taken our time to get this right. Our engineers, cryptographers, designers, policy experts and product managers have worked tirelessly to rebuild Messenger features from the ground up. We've introduced new privacy, safety and control features along the way like delivery controls that let people choose who can message them, as well as app lock, alongside existing safety features like report, block and message requests. We worked closely with outside experts, academics, advocates and governments to identify risks and build mitigations to ensure that privacy and safety go hand-in-hand.
The extra layer of security provided by end-to-end encryption means that the content of messages and calls are protected from the moment they leave the sender's device to the moment they reach the receiver's device. In other words, nobody, including Meta, can see what is sent or said, unless the message is reported.
End-to-end encrypted conversations also offer additional functionality including the ability to edit messages, higher media quality, and disappearing messages.
Meta notes that end-to-end encryption won't prevent users from using features like themes and custom reactions, but "it may take some time for Messenger chats to be updated with default end-to-end encryption."
As things stand, end-to-end encryption for group Messenger chats remains opt-in, and Meta previously said that Instagram messages will be encrypted "shortly after" the rollout of default encryption for Messenger chats.