Facebook is reportedly planning to bring end-to-end encryption to its standalone Messenger app. The social giant may soon start offering users option to choose from added privacy or improved artificial intelligence (AI).
The Guardian citing three people close to the project reports that Facebook in the coming months is planning to add an 'opt-in' encrypted communication mode in its Messenger app.
If this comes out to be true, Messenger won't be Facebook's first product to receive end-to-end encryption as WhatsApp introduced that extra privacy feature earlier this year. WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption enabled only the sender and the receiver to read what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.
The report however says that Facebook will keep it an 'opt-in' option in Messenger because it will be a tradeoff for improved artificial learning which is also planned to be added in coming months. Facebook at its developer conference in April had revealed that it wants to add new features to Messenger app where a 'bot' could read out a piece of news from a source.
The report quoted a Facebook spokesman who declined to comment on the rumours, and said, "We don't comment on rumour or speculation."
We can expect Facebook's move to add end-to-end encryption to meet backlash similar to how Google's Allo chat app received response from people. Soon after Allo release, security experts including Edward Snowden realised that the end-to-end encryption was not turned on by default. To recall, Google's new Allo chat app has an Incognito mode which has end-to-end encryption and discreet notifications.
Following the footsteps of WhatsApp bringing end-to-end encryption to all its messages, messaging app Viber rolled out the same to its users in April.