Meta Postpones Encryption for Facebook Messenger and Instagram Again

Facebook has been planning to encrypt its chat apps since 2016. But implementing that fully and everywhere will again be postponed to “sometime in 2023.”


Facebook Messenger and Instagram will receive end-to-end encryption in 2023, Antigone Davis, chief of security at Meta (the new name of Facebook), said in an op-ed in The Telegraph. Initially, the plan was to do that “by 2022,” but Davis says the company wants to get it right. Therefore, the plan is to make it possible for users to communicate with each other on Whatsapp, Instagram, and Messenger.

Meta’s plans to encrypt Facebook Messenger date back to 2016. Since then, it has been possible to start a secret conversation on Messenger, which is encrypted, but you have to turn it on yourself every time. This happens by default on WhatsApp.

That is, it takes Meta a total of seven years to secure its chat apps properly. Presumably, the problem is mainly with merging those three chat channels while still keeping encryption.

The opinion piece itself is mainly about Meta’s approach to making it safer for users. Davis, for example, speaks of detection technology to recognize suspicious patterns and that the company encourages people to report unwanted messages.

This is to be taken with a heavy grain of salt, though. Research and leaked documents in recent months clearly showed that Meta fails to keep its platforms safe and keep Instagram’s maliciousness quiet. Moreover, that detection technology only tackles the tip of the iceberg and that the company has trouble finding enough people due to its reputation for privacy violations and laxity.

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