Despite the popularity, Facebook seems to be in no hurry to add end-to-end encryption (E2E) to Messenger and Instagram chats. WhatsApp is the only Facebook product to offer secure E2E encryption. Facebook in a recent statement highlighted that both Instagram Direct and Messenger will get E2E encryption “sometime in 2022”.
Facebook had earlier promised to offer E2E encryption on both Instagram Direct and Messenger in 2019, however, Facebook is quietly delaying it and has now promised to offer the same by 2022.
“We’re also working hard to bring default end-to-end encryption to all of our messaging services. This will protect people’s private messages and mean only the sender and recipient, not even us, can access their messages. While we expect to make more progress on default end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram Direct this year, it’s a long-term project and we won’t be fully end-to-end encrypted until sometime in 2022 at the earliest. Moreover, the safety features we’ve already introduced are designed to work with end-to-end encryption, and we plan to continue building strong safety features into our services,” it said.
Facebook hasn’t provided any reason for this delay despite acknowledging that users expect data privacy while chatting.
“People want to know how their data is being used and what data is accessible by us or others when messaging. In addition, people may have different privacy expectations based on the size or nature of a group chat or audience. Ultimately, privacy is personal and comes with different expectations depending on their situation. So transparency and controls are key,” it added.