Facebook is testing end-to-end encryption for Messenger
Facebook is trialling a new feature named “secret conversations” its Messenger app that offers users end-to-end encryption. The company says the feature is accessible right now for a certain people, and will become more widely available this summer. Facebook says activating end-to-end encryption for select conversations will give users more privacy when discussing sensitive topics such as health issues and financial information. “We’ve heard from you that there are times when you want additional safeguards,” said the company in a blog post.
Facebook’s “secret conversations” will only work from one phone, tablet, or computer selected by the user. This way the company won’t have to distribute unique encryption keys to multiple devices. Messages sent using end-to-end encryption will also be limited in format, and won’t cover the likes of GIFs and videos, at least not initially. Users will have the option of setting self-destruct timers on messages, though, just like in Snapchat.
End-to-end encryption does not guarantee a message’s integrity, but to intercept a conversation protected in this way would require a significant amount of cooperation with law enforcement.