Meta, the new rechristened parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp (opens in new tab), has said it will delay the roll out of end-to-end (E2E) encryption (opens in new tab) by default on Messenger and Instagram until 2023.
The delay reportedly comes amid warnings from child safety campaigners that Meta’s proposals to enable E2E encryption by default would help shield abusers from detection.
“We’re taking our time to get this right and we don’t plan to finish the global rollout of end-to-end encryption by default across all our messaging services until sometime in 2023,” wrote Antigone Davis, Meta’s head of safety, in the Sunday Telegraph (opens in new tab).
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According to The Verge (opens in new tab), Meta merged Messenger and Instagram chats last year, and even offers the ability for certain users to have E2E encrypted chats.
Privacy vs safety
In his writeup, Davis explains that while E2E encryption helps its users keep their communications private, the company is cognizant of the concerns of anti-abuse campaigners.
“We believe people shouldn’t have to choose between privacy and safety, which is why we are building strong safety measures into our plans and engaging with privacy and safety experts, civil society and governments to make sure we get this right,” explains Davis outlining Meta’s three-pronged strategy to prevent abuse.
Earlier this year, Gail Kent, Messenger Policy Director had blogged (opens in new tab) that thanks to the company’s approach to securing communication, Meta wouldn’t be able to turn on E2E encryption by default on Messenger and Instagram before 2022.
Now that timeline has been pushed back further as the company tries to walk the fine line between protecting their user’s private communications, while ensuring their safety online.
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