Meta delays end-to-end encryption due to much pressure!
The Facebook company, Meta has taken on a remarkable decision to delay the use of End-to-End Encryption As default for Messenger and Instagram till 2023.
In 2019, Meta had stated that Facebook Messenger and Instagram would follow up WhatsApp’s privacy system by offering (End-to-End Encryption) E2EE as default message settings. These plans were rumored to kick off by the early months of 2022.
Antigone Davis, the HOS (Head of safety) at Meta, announced that meta plans to initiate End-to-End Encryption as default would be delayed to take place in 2023.
This delay was made due to the pressure made by several child safety corporations on the negative effect of this plan. As to the fact that the Meta platform, if allowed to be end to end encrypted, would probably increase the rate of child abuse.
Specifically, NCA had earlier warned that the millions of child sexual abuse cases that are being detected and reported on Meta’s platform won’t be able to be prevented if Meta carries on their plan to roll out end-to-end encryption.
Home secretary Priti Pate, who had been a vocal opponent of Meta’s encryptions plans, termed it as “simply not acceptable”, and warned that it would fight against child abuse. Even NSPCC had said earlier that private encrypted messages will play a major role in child abuse online since tech platforms won’t be able to preview and prevent abusive messages.
On hearing Meta’s Decision to delay the encryption plan, NSPCC’s head of child safety online policy, Andy Burrows, stated that Meta is correct not to move forward with end-to-end encryption until it has a solid mechanism in place to prevent child abuse.
However, the Facebook messenger’s voice and video calls are all encrypted. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said during the announcement of the Privacy drive in 2019 that online communications are expected to be private and secured from external bodies including Facebook itself, Governmental bodies, or any other party.
According to Davis, Meta would deploy a way to detect abuse on Facebook and Instagram using other features which are not encrypted, such as account information and user reports. He claims that this is a similar approach used by WhatsApp to make reports to child safety authorities.
Most tech platforms including Meta make use of the non-end-to-end encryption to confirm that users comply with guidelines, data privacy, security requirements, and legislations of the company. However, the request and demand for social privacy have been alarming over the years and that’s why many companies are moving over to End-to-End Encryption to satisfy users.
Meta has already promised to initiate the End-to-End Encryption plans in 2023 and by that time, it would be able to detect abuse on the platform. But, how possible will this be? Is it attainable? Meta is, however, still yet to answer all these questions.