After years of testing and improvement, Meta is almost ready to roll out the default end-to-end encryption (E2EE) feature for Facebook Messenger chats. The company says it’s on track to achieve this goal by 2024, and is now rolling out E2EE testing to Messenger users in more regions around the world. In the future, you will receive E2EE notifications when you open Messenger chats, and the system may also ask you to create a PIN to access your chat history.
One of the difficult realities that Facebook Messenger (and other chat services) face is that the user’s conversation history must be saved to the server. So Facebook Messenger uses traditional encryption techniques to protect your private data—it turns your conversations into nonsense that can only be understood with the correct decryption key. The problem, of course, is that it is Meta who owns the decryption key. In theory, the company can read your conversations whenever it wants, and in the event of a data breach, hackers can completely steal the decryption keys to access the files. user conversation.
E2EE will “take the decryption keys” from Meta’s hands. When the conversation is E2EE protected, only the sender and receiver have the correct decryption key. By implementing E2EE, Facebook Messenger will be significantly enhanced in terms of safety, privacy, and potentially protect people from the worst-case scenario of a data breach (identity theft) attack. , harassment, etc.).
In the past, Meta has taken a “reverse” approach when implementing end-to-end encryption for Messenger. Instead of starting with basic one-to-one conversations, Messenger’s E2EE was then launched as part of the Secret Conversations feature in 2016. It was later released. deployed for video calls and group chats.
Back in the day, Meta said the company wanted to rebuild the entire direct messaging system. In the past they relied on the server to validate that the user’s status, subject, image, and other features were correctly displayed between sender and receiver, which has slowly become unreasonable.
You’ll see more E2EE announcements in Facebook Messenger in the coming months. The implementation of this feature will not have a significant impact on the user experience, but both safety and privacy will certainly be enhanced.