Instagram and Messenger won’t get end-to-end encryption by default until 2023

Meta won’t enable end-to-end encryption by default for chats within Facebook Messenger and Instagram until 2023. The company previously said it plans to do so by 2022. In its own words, Meta wants to come up with ‘solutions’ to prevent abuse.

“We’re taking the time to get this right and we don’t plan to enable end-to-end encryption globally by default before sometime in 2023,” Antigone Davis, chief of security at Meta, told The Telegraph. In April this year, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp said it planned to do so “at the earliest” in 2022.

Davis says Meta is working with experts to develop “effective solutions” to counteract abuse, but he also emphasizes the company’s determination to protect users’ private conversations.

Various governments and child protection organizations have criticized Meta’s intentions to enable end-to-end encryption by default for all conversations in Facebook Messenger and Instagram, just as is already the case with WhatsApp. They fear that abuse can be detected less well if conversations are encrypted.

Davis argues that billions of people already use end-to-end encryption, but there is more data than ever for police to use when investigating and prosecuting criminals. He mentions metadata such as ‘phone numbers, email addresses and location data’. Meta’s chief of security cites a Europol survey of law enforcement, with 85 percent of those polled saying that such data is most important in investigations.