Facebook Messenger Is Rolling Out End-to-End Encryption For All Users Across The Community

Messenger has fully rolled out end-to-end encryption for users across the board, making this the second of Meta’s projects to receive the treatment.

While WhatsApp is the application typically known for end-to-end encryption being used as a form of user safety, it entered the social media game much later than Messenger did. The default form of conversation between Facebook users, Messenger was initially just an in-built chat system before it got its own app release back in 2011 for Android and iOS. However, it was ultimately overshadowed by WhatsApp’s own success as an app, with its end-to-end encryption being painted as a privacy feature geared towards making a safer community. Then Facebook decided to acquire the company, integrate it into its menagerie of apps, and WhatsApp’s reputation has been taking blow after blow ever since.

A major reason as to why this is happening is that WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption has been repeatedly noted to be fallible. For example, backups that are created nightly by the application are saved by the platform itself as well, therefore managing to override encryption and spelling out messages. Furthermore, there’s the fact that WhatsApp still manages to siphon user data off of its community, something that kind of flies in the face of the entire privacy image that the platform is attempting to conjure up, but technically doesn’t break end-to-end encryption. Thing is, encryption only hides messages from prying eyes, which means that location data and other user details are still very much accessible by WhatsApp. This is a point that was brought up a lot by angry users during a major fiasco over the platform’s policy change back in early 2021. WhatsApp quietly tried to sneak in the fact that it will now be sharing personal user data with Facebook; users got mad, jumped ship, transferred to the likes of Telegram and Signal, with WhatsApp forced to apologize for the entire incident.

Now, during that entire debacle, WhatsApp firmly grasped onto end-to-end encryption as a protective mantra: if we still maintain user privacy in messages, surely we can’t be all that bad, right?Perhaps that’s why Meta’s granting Messenger end-to-end encryption as well. However, the application of the technology is still user-optional. While the company considered mandatory implementation, because who would object to free security, it was stalled by many different governments and organizations. The reasoning was that Messenger and Facebook simply weren’t safe enough to allow users this amount of privacy, since it would make catching the likes of child predators and other seedy individuals difficult. Which is an entirely separate discussion that we’ve had before on this website.

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