SECRET SECRETS … FACEBOOK ENTERS END-TO-END ENCRYPTION-PALOOZA

facebook

Fans of Grandmaster Flash may have lost their heads trying to get a copy of the hit single The Message, but if it were up to Facebook Inc. they wouldn’t have had a chance. 

The social-media giant recently announced that they are starting tests on end-to-end encryption with secret conversations in their Messenger service. 

The new optional secret messages will only be readable on one device and not transportable between different devices—such as an iPad, laptop, mobile phone, among other devices. This may cause some concern for users that use multiple devices to access their messaging services. 

End-to-end encryption allows only senders and recipients of the messages—via text, chat, voice or video—to view the content.  The encryption is a strong privacy enabler, but one that many law enforcement officials decry as a means for criminals to evade detection. 

The debate over encryption intensified after the Apple-FBI dispute over an iPhone 5c that was used by the San Bernardino, Calif. shooter. The FBI eventually withdrew its request after it was able to unlock the iPhone on its own without Apple’s help.

Facebook isn’t the first to introduce end-to-end encryption in their messaging service. Many messaging services—BlackBerry Ltd., Rakuten Inc.’s Viber, Skype Inc’s Wire, Apple Inc.’s iMessage, and even Facebook’s own WhatsAPP—have all introduced encrypted messaging services.  

Although, Facebook’s secret conversations are only available for a limited time, there are a bevy of end-to-end encryption services that may make one wonder how they keep from goin’ under from all the options. 

To keep up with the constantly evolving world of privacy and security sign up for the Bloomberg BNA Privacy and Security Update.