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Facebook Rolls Out End-to-End Encryption On Messenger Voice and Video Calls, Instagram Getting Encryption Soon

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Highlights:

  • Facebook Messenger voice and video calls finally get end-to-end encryption.
  • WhatsApp already has end-to-end encryption on personal texts messages.
  • It will also be testing end-to-end encryption for group chats shortly.

Facebook Messenger is adding End-to-End Encryption or E2EE for voice and video calls. The company has also updated controls for disappearing messages. The social media giant has announced the new update in a blog post. Text conversations are getting a smaller update. If you’re setting a message to disappear, you’ll see more options for picking when it expired, from between five seconds and 24 hours. (It originally offered one-minute, 15-minute, one-hour, four-hour, and 24-hour increments.)

Facebook Messenger is also getting additional E2EE test features. Some Messenger users will see an option for end-to-end encrypted group chats and calls between “friends and family that already have an existing chat thread or are already connected”.

The release of the new feature shows that Facebook is continuing to add an extra layer of security to messages that flow throughout its platforms. However, the plans have sparked child safety advocates’ concerns that encryption could make it more difficult for law enforcement to crack down on child exploitation.

Ruth Kricheli, Facebook director of Messenger product management Said:

People expect their messaging apps to be secure and private, and with these new features, we’re giving them more control over how private they want their calls and chats to be. End-to-end encryption is becoming the industry standard and works like a lock and key, where just you and the people in the chat and call have access to the conversation, not even Facebook“.

“In the past year, we’ve seen a surge in the use of audio and video calling with more than 150 million video calls a day on Messenger. We’ll also kick off a limited test with adults in certain countries that lets them opt-in to end-to-end encrypted messages and calls for one-on-one conversations on Instagram.”

The company’s goal is to eventually make end-to-end encryption the default standard across WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. But it doesn’t expect to complete the project until some time next year at the earliest.

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