Meta plans to end default end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for Instagram and Facebook Messenger by 2023. The social media giant last year integrated Instagram Chat and Messenger to create a unified messaging platform for all its subordinates. According to The Verge, users can choose to enable E2EE for messages sent via Messenger and Instagram.
This option is not enabled by default and will probably not be a default feature until sometime in 2023. WhatsApp, another messaging platform owned by Meter, already supports end-to-end encryption by default.
What does the report say?
The report quoted sources as saying that Meta Security chief Antigone Davis blamed delays for concerns about user safety. Since E2EE means only senders and recipients will be able to view their conversations, Davis said Meta wants to ensure that it does not interfere with the platform’s ability to help prevent criminal activity.
Meta mentioned in a blog post earlier this year that the default E2EE will be available on Instagram and Messenger in 2022. But now, since Meta ‘wants to get this right’, Davis says the company plans to delay the feature’s launch until 2023.
The UK’s Online Safety Bill will also go into effect in 2023, requiring online platforms to protect children from harm, as well as swift action against objectionable content. This could hamper Facebook’s plans to enable E2EE by default, as UK Home Secretary Preity Patel has previously criticized its use.
Last year, the U.S. proposed local law enforcement backdoor encryption access with the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and Japan, allowing authorities to view encrypted messages and files if warrants were issued.