We have gone from open chat rooms to personal chats. But today is the age of ultra secret, self destructing messages. Snapchat can be give the accolade of starting this trend and it seems it is making its way to several other chatting applications. Many other applications like Signal or Telegram also feature in the encrypted messages category.
The biggest news in this front is that now Facebook is working on a far more secure Messenger conversation, with many other interesting features.
These protected chats will be end-to-end encrypted, which means even Facebook will not be able to access them. This option is currently only available for only a small subset of users, but Facebook is looking to expand it soon.
What’s more is the added option of setting a timer on the message, which will make the message self-destruct after a certain amount of time. Cool isn’t it?
Facebook is utilizing the open-source Signal Protocol, developed by Open Whisper Systems, endorsed by the likes of Edward Snowden among others.
Facebook was quick to point out that these secret conversations will not support many features like making payments and sharing GIFs and videos. Also, users will need to enable the encryption option, and it will not be set on by default like it is in the Facebook-owned chatting app WhatsApp.
The company said that during this test phase, they are gathering the feedback from beta users about the functionality, measurement of performance and the tools that enable people to report objectionable content. They are putting a lot of effort and devising thorough technical and ethical framework for the implementation of this feature, with the help of some of the best security and privacy experts around the globe.
With this move messenger will also become one of the few encrypted messaging apps. It has over 900 million monthly users, so most of the people using the web craving for more security will soon be ecstatic about these updates.
But some critics are already dubbing this change as another step towards creating a security situation we cannot contain. They believe malicious elements can take unfair advantage of such level of privacy and secrecy in data transmission; and thus want more checks and balances over the social media and communication apps.
Are you happy about these privacy changes? Or do you think they pose some sort of security crisis?
Share your opinion in the comments!