A wide-scale roll-out of default end-to-end encryption has been in the works for Messenger for years; in 2021, Meta’s Global Head of Safety wrote in a Telegraph op-ed that the company is “taking our time to get this right.” Meta expects all of the billions of Messenger interactions exchanged on a daily basis to be end-to-end encrypted by default sometime this year, and today’s memo from Zuckerberg confirms that progress is ongoing.
According to the announcement, Meta is “gradually expanding” the beta stage of default encryption. The tech giant states that users will be notified in the coming months as their conversations — chosen at random, Meta emphasized — are transitioned into encrypted chats. Meta says the users and conversations selected are done so in a system that is random by design, and while automatic encryption will be the default, users can still opt out.
Meta has been under pressure to finally roll out default E2EE on Messenger once and for all, especially in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overruling, which demonstrated the function’s necessity when a teenager and her mother faced criminal charges for discussing a pregnancy termination via Facebook Messenger.
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