According to reports, Facebook parent company Meta announced today that it will test a new secure storage feature for backing up users' "end-to-end" encrypted chat data on Messenger. The move comes amid protests over Meta's provision of Messenger data to police. In response, Meta spokesman Andy Stone said that the new secure storage feature has been in development for some time, and the release at this time is not related to the Nebraska case.
In so-called "end-to-end" encryption, only the sender and the designated receiver can access the data, and no other person, hacker, or any third party can access the encrypted data on the server. And Meta's new secure storage feature will allow users to back up "end-to-end" encrypted Messenger conversations so that users can restore chat history on new devices.
Meta also has no access to this backup data. Users can create a PIN, generate a code, or use a third-party cloud service to restore their chat messages.
Later this week, Meta will roll out the feature on Android and iOS devices, but not on the Messenger website. In addition, Meta said it would also expand testing of "end-to-end" encrypted messages on Instagram, Meta's photo-sharing social platform.
Meta said in a statement, people want their online conversations with friends and family to be private and secure. By defaulting to 'end-to-end' encryption on Messenger and Instagram, we're working hard to protect our users' personal messages and calls.
In fact, since 2016, Meta has been discussing the full deployment of "end-to-end" encryption. But some critics say the security measure will make it harder for law enforcement to catch some criminals. At the 2019 Lawful Access Summit, hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Facebook would be "a place where some criminals' dreams come true. ".
Meta also said in a statement today that it plans to roll out default “end-to-end” encryption of personal messages and calls globally in 2023, and progress is being made.