End-to-end encryption has been added to Facebook Messenger as a new privacy feature. What good are these new privacy or security benefits? Almost everyone has questions about what end-to-end encryption actually does. In this post we will first learn about end-to-end encryption, then how to use this feature in Messenger.
What is end-to-end encryption?
Before learning about Messenger’s end-to-end encryption, it is important to know the basics. End-to-end encryption is basically an encryption system applied to data, which keeps the data encrypted from one device to the desired device. The information sent through this end-to-end encryption system is so secure that the media used cannot see the data itself.
Only those devices or devices in which data is being exchanged have the power to decrypt that data. The end-to-end encryption system provides much more security than the usual texting system when it comes to financial conversations or important business discussions.
Encrypted data is extremely secure. Where the medium of sending the data does not have the ability to see it, so there is no opportunity for third parties to hack or steal the data. This means that end-to-end encryption systems provide maximum security when it comes to exchanging data.
Again, there are some common problems with end-to-end encryption systems. For example, data-dependent suggestions cannot be found because the data is encrypted. If a third party gains physical access to any one of the devices in the data exchange, security and privacy are compromised.
Messenger end-to-end encryption
Facebook Messenger may have to wait until 2023 to fully use the end-to-end encryption feature by default. Recently, Messenger’s parent company, Meta, reported that end-to-end encrypted group chat and call features have already been added to Messenger. Currently this is an optional facility.
In addition, another security feature is being added to Messenger through which the people in the chat will get notification if anyone taking a screenshot of Messenger’s disappearing message or vanish mode is on.
Just like in Snapchat , when someone takes a screenshot, it is displayed in the chat notification, just like in Messenger, a feature has been added for vanish mode chat. Also from now on you can use GIFs, stickers and reactions in vanish mode, i.e. end-to-end encrypted chat, which was not possible before.
There are two ways to use the Messenger end-to-end encryption feature. First you can turn on the vanish mode of Messenger (swipe from bottom to top of Messenger).
Second, you can also use the encryption feature through Messenger’s Secret Conversation feature. Click on the name at the top of the messenger when chatting with someone to turn on secret conversations. On the next screen you will find the option to turn on Secret Conversation along with other features.
An end-to-end encrypted group chat and call feature was announced in August 2021 to provide more security and privacy of private conversations in Messenger. However, many are unhappy with the personal use of this end-to-end encryption system, as it can interfere with crime investigations.
Meta’s other app, WhatsApp, is already using end-to-end encryption, and so Meta is unwilling to compromise on Facebook Messenger.
Although announced last year, the end-to-end encryption system for group calls and chats has not been implemented since then. Meta reports that this feature will be tested in existing chats. It also said that end-to-end encrypted chat delivery controls will be tested. This means that users can choose the controls of their choice.
Finally, the end-to-end encryption chat and call system will work for all users of Global Messenger. Users can use end-to-end encryption for their own private conversations.
Another new feature is the screenshot notification of Messenger’s disappearing mode. That is, if a screenshot of the chat is taken, its notification will be shown. In the event of such an event there is an opportunity to block or report the chat. Meta said that these new features will be added to Messenger in the next few weeks.
Again, end-to-end encrypted chat did not have many features like the ones in normal chat. These features, which are missing from end-to-end encrypted chat, are finally being added. From now on, end-to-end encrypted chat can also use features like gif, sticker, reaction, reply to specific message, typing indicator etc. In other words, there is no difference between ordinary chat and end-to-end encrypted chat in terms of features.
Meta said that the mentioned features will be added to Messenger for all users including mobile and web. This feature is in the process of being added, so not all users will see all the new features in Messenger at the same time. It will take some time for the new features to reach all the users.