Should the government be able to access and read the messaging history of its citizens? Facebook does not believe so. In 2014, Facebook bought the messaging service WhatsApp. Ever since then, the company has been interested in supplying a similar level of encryption to its native messaging service. Facebook Messenger will be finally seeing end-to-end encryption.
Why is end-to-end encryption important for the user?
The added layer of encryption means that without the device used directly in the conversation, nobody else can correctly see the information. Users will be able to pass on secure and private information with the knowledge that it is unreadable and inaccessible by third parties.
The United States government is not liking the idea one bit as it increases the risk of terrorist or treasonous activity. Statistically, the average user is more likely to be the victim of a hacker rather than the victim of an attack of terror or a terrorist themselves.
While the latter carries the weight of more potential fatalities, the government has several other tools at their disposal, including several large databases of names to be kept under observation. Users do not have such luxuries and most of us depend on whatever features app developers can implement from the get-go.
Additionally, if the terrorists want to find an end-to-end encryption messaging service, then they will either find one or try to make one.
Why is end-to-end encryption important for Facebook?
Facebook Messenger has 0.9 billion monthly active users. They discuss sensitive information and perhaps they send sensitive media.
Moreover, Facebook has been hard at work in making Messenger for Business. A business oriented messaging service deals with sensitive information constantly. Without proper security, any hacker could obtain personal employee information, bank account statements, and much more.
End-to-end encryption makes Messenger a more trustworthy communication platform. Users can utilize chatbots with less hesitation and fear of just giving away personal data. Developers will be more motivated to create encryption-based chatbots which can safely manage personal information.
After several slip-ups which happened in the past, Facebook has turned over a new leaf. User privacy has become a top priority for the company. End-to-end encryption is not stopping government agencies from doing their jobs. It is allowing a company to maintain its policy about user privacy in check.
Photograph Courtesy of Flickr.