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Meta delays plans to launch end-to-end encrypted messages on Instagram and Messenger until 2023

4 min read
  • It previously set a deadline of 2022 to implement end-to-end encryption by default.
  • WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption to make your conversations unreadable to hackers and authorities.

Meta (previously Facebook) has delayed its plans to make end-to-end encryption the default for messages sent on Instagram and Messenger until 2023.

The company’s head of global safety, Antigone Davis, said that the plans have been pushed back from the original deadline of 2022 to focus on stopping online abuse while providing users with additional privacy.

Social media platforms have been criticized by law enforcement and child-protection groups for enforcing end-to-end encryption and preventing authorities from reading messages and from protecting child safety online.

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. As a company that connects billions of people around the world and has built industry-leading technology, we're determined to protect people's private communications and keep people safe online.

Instagram has recently set the account status of users who sign up under the age of 18 to private, meaning they have to manually accept follower requests and vet who can see their profile. It also encourages users to report harmful content and messages using the built-in report functionality.

Meta says that it “believes people shouldn't have to choose between privacy and safety” and will continue work on implementing end-to-end encryption. It’s worth noting that WhatsApp already encrypts conversations, and Messenger users can move into an end-to-end encrypted chat, although it isn’t enabled by default.

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