Loredana Crisan, Head of Messenger for Meta, wrote the following notice on the company’s website:
I’m delighted to announce that we are rolling out default end-to-end encryption for personal messages and calls on Messenger and Facebook, as well as a suite of new features that let you further control your messaging experience. We take our responsibility to protect your messages seriously and we’re thrilled that after years of investment and testing, we’re able to launch a safer, more secure and private service.
Since 2016, Messenger has had the option for people to turn on end-to-end encryption, but we’re now changing private chats and calls across Messenger to be end-to-end encrypted by default. This has taken years to deliver because we’ve taken our time to get this right. Our engineers, cryptographers, designers, policy experts and product managers have worked tirelessly to rebuild Messenger features from the ground up. We’ve introduced new privacy, safety and control features along the way like delivery controls that let people choose who can message them, as well as app lock, alongside existing safety features like report, block and message requests. We worked closely with outside experts, academics, advocates and governments to identify risks and build mitigations to ensure that privacy and safety go hand-in-hand.
The extra layer of security provided by end-to-end encryption means that the content of your messages and calls with friends and family are protected from the moment they leave your device to the moment they reach the receiver’s device. This means that nobody, including Meta, can see what’s sent or said, unless you choose to report a message to us.
End-to-end encryption gives people more secure chats in Messenger. These chats will not only have all of the things people know and love, like themes and custom reactions, but also a host of new features we know are important for our community. These new features will be available for use immediately, though it may take some time for Messenger chats to be updated with default end-to-end encryption.