Facebook Messenger Might Soon have ‘Optional’ End-to-End Encryption

June 6, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Facebook might soon adopt the encryption policies of WhatsApp. The company, which has come out in support of Apple against its legal battle against FBI, is now said to be working on an end-to-end encryption setup for its Messenger app on smartphones, said a report.

This would let users to send messages that won’t be accessible to anyone else apart from them, and the other party to which messages are sent.

However, unlike the policy opted by WhatsApp, the parent company is deciding to give the choice of making encryption optional in Messenger app. Upon introducing end-to-end introduction in WhatsApp, all the messages were encrypted by default.


However, Facebook will hand this choice to the users for setting whether they want the encryption or not. This is because turning on the option by default would put an end to all the machine learning features in Messenger, which in turn would cease the operation of chat bots.

Facebook’s experimental bots require to go through messages to learn the patterns, which requires messages to be stored in Facebook server. This won’t be possible if messages are encrypted, which means that users will have to choose their priority among secure chats and artificial intelligence. Google’s upcoming Allo app, which too relies on machine learning feature, comes with optional end-to-end encryption feature.

It also needs to be seen whether users will be able to set encryption for individual chats since the feature being an opt-in one. No official confirmation has yet been given out by Facebook, but the move seems more than likely, especially with the company boasting over the necessity of user privacy protection.

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