Facebook Messenger’s Opt-in E2EE raises Privacy Concerns

Facebook is finally seeing the light as it relates to E2EE (End to End Encryption), sort of!

E2EE means no one can intercept you’re IM’s, not even Facebook itself and is effectively like using Blackberry Messenger, the gold standard of Encrypted conversations. Facebook Messenger has taken a leaf out of WhatsApp playbook, using the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems.

Geezam - Facebook Messenger’s Opt-in E2EE raises Privacy Concerns - 14-07-2016 LHDEER

To enable a secret conversation in Facebook Messenger, follow the steps:

  1. Start a Messenger conversation
  2. Click on Secret conversation with the little blue locket
  3. Types as usual, with the “secret Conversation” appearing in the title

Good to note this is a test run, as it is being tested on a limited trial basis with some users with a wider deployment later in 2016!

The Big Blue E2EE on Facebook Messenger, is oddly an opt-in. That means you have to enable it manually, a fact that has many wonder if Facebook is more interested in allowing people to spy on your conversation than preserving what little privacy you have left on the Social Network.

This is also in stark contrast to WhatsApp, where E2EE is enable by default since April 2016 as pointed out in Why Viber and WhatsApp going E2EE as Telecom Providers need encryption. It thus remains to be seen how this will go down with long time FB users concerned about privacy online, even if they care, as it does trouble me somewhat that it’s opt-in and not default.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

1 Comment

  • Fleet Flugs

    Blackberry Messenger? Is it still being developed? Anyway, it most certainly is not the gold standard of encrypted conversations (Threema is).

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