After WhatsApp implemented end-to-end encryption for its users last month, it is time Facebook did the same, The Guardian writes. Facebook is considering a major change this summer for its Messenger bot and, unlike WhatsApp, users will be allowed to disable the encryption in their communication.
“Facebook plans to make the tougher encryption an opt-in, because turning it on would get in the way of some new machine learning features it is building into Messenger,” sources say.
Through end-to-end encryption, conversations are strictly secured not only locally on each device sending and receiving messages, but also on the servers, and can’t be read by authorities, hackers or Facebook.
To date, the application has over 900 million active users each month.
Users who want to benefit from the artificial intelligence elements of the bots Facebook is developing will have the option to disable the strong encryption, as it limits some of the features. It will be difficult to use the “machine learning” feature if strong encryption is implemented, as it can’t be used without access to users’ private messages and data, Facebook said at its developer conference.
The tech industry has been working toward increasing security protocols as user demand for privacy has increased after the Snowden revelations about ongoing government surveillance. Google is also looking at adding stronger security layers for its messaging app.
Facebook hasn’t yet confirmed or denied the implementation of end-to-end encryption for Messenger. “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation,” a Facebook spokesman said.