The Internet may have stripped most of our privacy away, but there are still ways to hold on to a shred of dignity in the modern age.
One such method is encrypted messaging. Facebook parent company Meta is betting on the concept, as they just announced that they are testing automatic end-to-end encryption in Messenger chats.
What does this mean? End-to-end encryption (E2EE) makes it so not even Facebook can read Messenger chat messages; only the participants are allowed access. This makes it extremely difficult, though not impossible, for outside entities like law enforcement agencies or hackers to take a quick peek at our private chats.
Facebook already offers E2EE as an option within Messenger, but the process was not clearly advertised, and most people have not taken advantage. Automatic encryption will impact every user, and the company has already started, saying that tests have begun “between some people” throughout the week.
As for long-term goals, Meta says all Facebook Messenger chats and calls will include end-to-end encryption sometime next year.
Beyond E2EE, the company is testing a “secure storage” feature that encrypts cloud backups of users’ Messenger chat histories. Meta says this will be useful “in case you lose your phone or want to restore your message history on a new, supported device.” Again, the company will not have access to these messages.
Meta is also testing the ability to sync deleted messages across multiple devices and, finally, a feature to unsend messages.