Meta Platforms has recently announced that it is implementing end-to-end encryption as the default setting for personal messages and calls on its Facebook and Messenger apps. This move comes as a measure to enhance the safety of user communications. According to Loredana Crisan, the head of Messenger, this means that no one, including Meta, will be able to access or view the content of the messages and calls unless users decide to report them.
Instagram is also expected to follow suit and adopt full encryption, possibly within the upcoming year, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The introduction of end-to-end encryption aims to provide users with a “safer, more secure, and private service,” as stated by Crisan. However, this decision has sparked a heated debate regarding online privacy.
The Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance comprising 15 law enforcement agencies, expressed concerns earlier this year that end-to-end encryption could significantly hinder their ability to identify and prosecute offenders. They emphasized the need to strike a balance between safeguarding privacy and protecting children online.
Similarly, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children warned that without exceptions to detect child sexual exploitation, numerous incidents of abuse would go undetected due to end-to-end encryption.
On the other side of the spectrum, privacy advocates have long advocated for major tech companies to adopt full encryption. The American Civil Liberties Union applauded Meta’s recent initiative, stating that it improves communication security and is a much-needed step in the right direction.
As of now, Meta Platforms has not yet responded to requests for comment on this matter.