After Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, merged Facebook Messenger and Instagram chats for its users last year, it decided to put its standard end-to-end encryption plan for Messenger and Instagram on hold until 2023 place.
Last year, Meta offered its Messenger and Instagram users end-to-end encryption (E2EE). However, this option was not available by default. Users had a choice to select E2EE and the choice will most likely be available by 2023.
For WhatsApp, however, there is already standard end-to-end encryption.
Corresponding The guard, The decision to postpone standard encryption also comes after UK Home Secretary Priti Patel criticized the use of end-to-end encryption, stating that it only allows the sender and recipient to see your content, and one factor can be to increase sexuality in children abuse on the internet.
Patel has called this encryption unacceptable, especially after the UK published its Online Safety Bill, which will come into effect in 2023. The law is intended to protect children from abusive content on online platforms and protect them from harm.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has also mentioned that E2EE does not allow tech platforms and law enforcement agencies to display messages. Therefore, private messages could compromise user safety and increase child sexual abuse.
Meta had previously stated that the standard E2EE function would be available for Instagram and Messenger sometime in early 2022.
However, Antigone Davis, Head of Safety at Meta, stated that there would be a delay in the standard E2EE function as the company prioritizes user safety and wants to ensure that E2EE is both safe and able to fight criminal activity , not affected.
Davis said the parent company is creating options to use a combination of unencrypted data for apps, account information, and reports from users, along with standard end-to-end encryption when it’s available to keep users intact and safe contributes to public safety.
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