This means that what happens on Messenger stays on Messenger, and neither the cops nor Mark Zuckerberg and his minions can see what’s written there–that is, if you turn on end-to-end encryption in the app. The Guardian cites three unnamed sources saying the new security option will roll out in the next few months. Facebook is making the feature “opt-in” because it’s planning new AI features that provide user suggestions based on the content of messages.
Google recently found itself getting criticized for not making end-to-end encryption the default in its new Allo messenger. Consumers will increasingly face the choice between smarter bots that are privy to personal information, and less useful ones that aren’t.
“Facebook’s move illustrates how technology companies are doubling down on secure messaging in the wake of Apple’s standoff with the FBI,” the Guardian reports. This may be going a little too far. The big tech platforms are making parts of the message delivery and storage chain encrypted by default, but not the whole thing. If they were really doubling down, they’d turn on end-to-end encryption by default.