Earlier this year, Meta promised the privacy option would be available to all Facebook Messenger and Instagram users "sometime in 2022 at the earliest". Now, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp has revealed via a post in The Telegraph (as first reported by The Guardian) that the entire effort has been delayed due to concerns about user safety.
With end-to-end encryption, only a sender and recipient can see a message. While messages sent through Facebook Messenger and Instagram can be end-to-end encrypted, the option isn’t enabled by default, and now, it won't be for another couple of years. Davis said Meta doesn't want the feature to hinder its ability to help stop criminal activity, and that it wants to "get this right".
So, to assist "public safety efforts", Meta plans to now use a "combination of non-encrypted data" across apps, account information, and reports from users. Keep in mind WhatsApp already supports end-to-end encryption by default.
The UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and Japan have all also signed on to an international statement that warns about the dangers of encryption and calls upon platforms to give law enforcement backdoor access to encrypted messages and files with a warrant.
According to the BBC, the UK’s Home Secretary believes end-to-end encryption could make it difficult to prevent child abuse online.