You probably know that Facebook owns WhatsApp in addition to its Messenger app which has about 900 million users according to the last stat provided by the social media giant. While WhatsApp implemented announced its end to end encryption for all chats within its app, some had thought it would be an across the board implementation. Well The Guardian says this could be a matter of months away. The report says Facebook plans to make its own optional though unlike the WhatsApp one where we all logged in at one time and saw the encryption notice message within all chats. For those who may be wondering what the term end to end means, it’s just a term used to describe all round security (encryption) from origin to destination (sender to receiver). This in other words means that when you activate this new feature this summer in the Facebook Messenger app, not even Facebook would technically be able to read or retrieve your messages.
Why’s Facebook making its own optional?
The first thing to know is that Facebook isn’t the only one making its own optional unlike WhatsApp. Google is also making the feature optional in it news messaging app, Allo. Apparently activating this could get in the way of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is coming to both Messenger and Allo. Machine learning could be hampered and ultimately defeat the essence of bringing in machines to make chats more “meaningful”. Both Facebook and Google announced new initiatives to boost business by tapping into the AI potentials and this is all to boost revenue in the end. Companies are continually caught in the web of uncertainties at different times. On the one hand, many users want stronger encryption in light of spying by governments and hacks by other people and on the other hand, companies need to make money by selling more AI services. This could be the simple reason behind the decision by Facebook to make this feature optional.
Security is a major issue for tech lovers and in any case, government authorities always prefer to be able to request for user data at any time for crime fighting and investigation.