E2EE : The cause of the delay has to do with user safety
According to The Guardian, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, does not plan to implement end-to-end encryption (E2EE) by default on Messenger and Instagram until 2023.
Last year, the firm integrated Messenger and Instagram conversations as part of an effort to unify messaging across all of its platforms.
While E2EE communications may be transmitted using Messenger and Instagram, the capability isn’t switched on by default — and probably won’t be until 2023. E2EE is already supported by WhatsApp by default.
META WANTS TO KEEP USERS
SAFE WHILE STILL “ASSISTING
PUBLIC SAFETY EFFORTS”
The delay, according to Antigone Davis, Meta’s head of safety, is due to user safety concerns, according to an article in The Telegraph. Because E2EE implies that only the sender and receiver will be able to see each other’s communications,
Davis says Meta wants to make sure that this doesn’t hinder the platform’s capacity to assist deter illegal conduct.
Davis said that once E2EE is enabled by default, the business would “use a combination of non-encrypted data across our applications, account information, and reports from users” to keep users safe while “assisting public safety initiatives.”
Meta stated in a blog post earlier this year that default E2EE will be accessible on Instagram and Messenger “at the earliest in 2022.” However, according to Davis, Meta wants to “get this right,” therefore the functionality will be delayed until 2023.
The UK’s Online Safety Bill, which takes effect in 2023, would oblige online platforms to protect minors from danger and to immediately eliminate abusive content. This might stymie Facebook’s intentions to make E2EE available by default, given the UK’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has already denounced its usage.
According to a BBC story, Patel believes E2EE will make it more difficult to prevent online child abuse, saying, “Sadly, at a time when we need to be taking greater action… Facebook is still pursuing E2EE ideas that jeopardize the wonderful work and progress that has already been accomplished.”
Last year, the United States joined the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and Japan in calling for backdoor encryption access for local law enforcement, which would allow authorities to examine encrypted communications and data if a warrant was granted.