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Meta to test end-to-end encryption for Messenger

Tech giant Meta will soon begin testing for end-to-end encrypted chats on Messenger to enhance user privacy

Meta will begin testing for end-to-end encrypted chats for Messenger. 
Meta will begin testing for end-to-end encrypted chats for Messenger.  (Photo by Dima Solomin, Unsplash)

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On Thursday, Meta revealed that it is testing end-to-end encryption for specific chats on its Messenger application. In order to enable customers to backup end-to-end encrypted chats, the tech giant is exploring safe storage for Messenger. "We're also starting a test of automatic end-to-end encrypted chat threads on Messenger and expanding other features," said the company on their official website.

“We’re testing secure storage to back up those messages in case you lose your phone or want to restore your message history on a new, supported device. As with end-to-end encrypted chats, secure storage means that we won’t have access to your messages, unless you choose to report them to us,” reads the website. 

The history of users' end-to-end encrypted chats on Messenger will be safeguarded by secure storage by default, but they'll have a variety of alternatives for restoring messages if the users wish to do so. Two end-to-end encrypted methods will be available to access these backups: either generate a PIN or a code, both of which the user will need to save. Users can also choose to retrieve their chats via third-party devices.

Also read: Meta's WhatsApp introduces a host of new privacy tools

The company will start to test secure storage this week on Android and iOS, but the feature hasn't been made available for the desktop versions yet. According to the website, some of the new features Meta is set to start testing are: 

1.  Testing the ability to unsend messages, reply to Facebook Stories and offer other ways to access end-to-end encrypted messages and calls.

2.  A new security feature, Code Verify, is an open-source web browser extension which would help the user confirm the effectiveness of their code and also let them know if their code has been tampered with.

3.  While the vanish mode would be removed, disappearing messages would still be available on Messenger.

4.  Meta will also start testing end-to-end encrypted messages and calls on Instagram.

Users who are part of the test group will be sent notifications and permissions before beginning to test these features on their applications. “We will continue to provide updates as we make progress toward the global rollout of default end-to-end encryption for personal messages and calls in 2023,” reads the company's website.

Also read: Tech giant Meta releases first human rights report

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