Like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger to is taking steps for keeping users conversation safe and away from prying eyes. The company is presently testing the feature called ‘secret conversations’ that’ll use end-to-end encryption that lock up messages from prying eyes.
With the end-to-end encryption technology, only the sender and receiver will be able to read the messages. Any third party, even Facebook itself will be unable to read the messages. The test was announced in a blog post where Facebook highlighted sensitive topic like health and finance being some of the reasons why they decided to secure Messenger from prying eyes.
In recent years, tech companies are seen integrating the end-to-endencryption technology into their products. Due to the nature of the technology, that keeps users from surveillance fears. Some law and enforcement have stated concern that the technology will give un-monitored access of communication to criminals and terrorists.
Note that this feature will not be turned-on on its own, users will have to choose to the ‘secret conversation’. Users can also set a time limit on how long each message will remain visible in a conversation. One major drawback of the service is that it doesn’t include some major features like videos or GIFs.
‘Starting a secret conversation with someone is optional. That’s because many people want Messenger to work when you switch between devices, such as a tablet, desktop computer or phone. Secret conversations can only be read on one device and we recognize that experience may not be right for everyone.’ – the blog post said.
It’s worth recalling that WhatsApp (which is owned by Facebook) too uses the same technology to build end-to-end encryption. Looks like the company is following the footsteps of Apple, who had protected users’ conversations with end-to-end encryption at i Message since 2011.
Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins University computer science professor who was called for consultation by Facebook, said:“It’s becoming a minimal requirement for deploying an app like this.There are people who aren’t going to download some special app, so the fact it is being built into the things they already use is a really big deal.”
Presently the service is available only in a couple of places but Facebook has promised they’ll expand the service to more users later this summer.