Meta has said it is delaying the rollout of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) across its messaging services until 2023 over child safety concerns.
Meta, formerly Facebook, has been working for some time to provide unified E2EE across its various messaging services, including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The move has been criticized by some legislators over concerns about child safety and the ability to solve, or even prevent, crimes.
WhatsApp already has E2EE, and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in early November the company was rolling out E2EE across Messenger. This plans appear to be paused, according to an article in The Telegraph, by Antigone Davis, Meta Global Head of Safety.
“We’ll continue engaging with outside experts and developing effective solutions to combat abuse because our work in this area is never done,” says Davis. “We’re taking our time to get this right and we don’t plan to finish the global rollout of end-to-end encryption by default across all our messaging services until sometime in 2023. As a company that connects billions of people around the world and has built industry-leading technology, we’re determined to protect people’s private communications and keep people safe online.”
The move is sure to disappoint customers and privacy proponents.