Facebook introduces end-to-end encryption for voice and video calls, disappearing messages feature and more

Facebook, in an attempt to increase user security and privacy, has introduced end-to-end encryption for Messenger voice and video calls. The tech giant released the new update by switching to “secret conversation” mode, which disables many working features of the platform when activated.

Image: Facebook

In a blog post, Facebook, alongside the new update, announced that more than 150 million video calls are made on Facebook Messenger a day. The end-to-end encryption feature was first rolled out in 2016 in Facebook’s Messenger app. While WhatsApp already supports end-to-end encrypted phone calls since long, the company has now added a disappearing messages feature to Messenger. As a part of this feature, messages can be scheduled to disappear at a certain time, which could be anywhere between 5 seconds to 24 hours.

The new end-to-end encrypted group chats and calls in Messenger will be released soon, the company says. A host of other calling applications also have end-to-end encrypted calls features, owing to the growing concerns of data privacy of the users over the Internet.

Another update on the same lines includes setting up delivery controls by users so that they can decide who can access their chats list, requests folder, and even who can’t message them.

Facebook, in select countries, may test the new updates “limited test” series with adults to opt in to end-to-end encrypted messages and calls for one-on-one conversations on Instagram. The limited test will work similarly to how Facebook Messenger works when users have an existing chat or are following each other in order to send an end-to-end encrypted direct message. They'll be able to block people and report people whenever need be.

Previously, secret conversations happened only between individual users, but Facebook says that will change in the “coming weeks”. Also, it was mentioned earlier that encrypted conversations be made by default until sometime in 2022.

For the unversed, end-to-end encryption means that when data is released from your device, it is at no point decrypted until it reaches its destined user. That means your messages cannot be seen even by the server that handles your message when the end-to-end encryption service is activated.

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