Facebook testing end-to-end encryption in Messenger

Facebook has started testing automatic end-to-end encryption in Messenger with a small group of users, the company said in a statement.

It also said that it has started testing secure storage for Messenger to allow users to backup their end-to-end encrypted chats.

“We’re working hard to protect your personal messages and calls with end-to-end encryption by default on Messenger and Instagram,” Facebook said.

It specified that users in the test group would have some of their most frequent chats secured by default without opting into the feature.

Test participants can still access their message histories, but any new calls or messages will be automatically end-to-end encrypted.

Facebook’s Messenger app currently allows users to opt-in to end-to-end encryption for specific chats.

The app also currently stores encrypted conversations directly to users’ devices.

However, Facebook is now testing a feature that will let users back up their chats to keep them secure if they lose their device or want to transfer their message history to a new one.

“As with end-to-end encrypted chats, secure storage means that we won’t have access to your messages, unless you choose to report them to us,” Facebook said.

Messenger users can secure chat backups with either a PIN they can create or by generating a code — both of which will need to be saved to access the backups.

Facebook said users would also have the option to restore conversations through third-party cloud services like iCloud.

“For example, for iOS devices you can use iCloud to store a secret key that allows access to your backups,” it said.

However, Facebook noted that while third-party cloud services may be secure, they aren’t protected by Messenger’s end-to-end encryption.

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Facebook testing end-to-end encryption in Messenger