It appears that Meta will be delaying its rollout of its full-fledged end-to-end encryption (e2ee) system to both Messenger and Instagram later than it originally planned. Meta safety head Antigone Davis, via UK’s Telegraph, stated that the feature has been pushed back to be released “sometime in 2023”.
It is said that the company’s decision to delay the feature, which was originally planned to launch as soon as next year, is to allow for extra time to its development. According to Davis, Meta needed the extra time “to get things right.” Meanwhile, the company itself has yet to officially announce the delay.
While the full version of its e2ee has yet to be implemented, the social media giant did roll out an early version of the feature to its Messenger and Instagram app back in August. However, the chat encryption system isn’t enabled as default, enabling users to opt-in if they wish to have it enabled. On the other hand, e2ee is fully available to all users of Meta’s popular private messaging platform WhatsApp, which implemented the feature back in 2014.
The push for an added layer of security to Messenger and Instagram may not sit well with certain authorities. This is especially for the UK, as the country will be enacting a new safety law in 2023 that will require tech companies to prevent abuse and enforce child safety protection. According to the country’s home secretary Priti Patel, encryption features would “severely” limit law enforcement’s ability to pursue criminals. In response to this, Davis assured that Meta would still have the ability to detect abuse through a combination of unencrypted info and also user reports.