Meta says Messenger and Instagram users should be safe even without E2EE

Meta says Messenger and Instagram users should be safe even without E2EE
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, won’t deliver end-to-end encryption to Messenger and Instagram users anytime soon, but the company is looking for ways to supplement the lack of E2EE with extra security measures.

In a fairly long blog post, Antigone Davis, Meta’s Global Head of Safety detailed the company’s approach to Messenger and Instagram security while the build of default E2EE is underway. Meta strategy to keep its users safe involves three aspects:

  • Working to prevent abuse from happening in the first place
  • Giving people more controls to help them stay safe
  • Responding to reports on potential harm

The easiest way to keep your users safe is to prevent abuse from happening. In that regard, Meta says that its machine learning technology can look across non-encrypted parts of the company’s platforms (i.e. account information and photos uploaded to public spaces) to detect suspicious activity and abuse.

Additionally, when adults repeatedly set up new profiles and tries to connect with minors they don’t know or message a large number of strangers, Meta can take action and prevent them from interacting with minors. More importantly, minors accounts on Instagram and Facebook can be set to private or “friends only.”

Secondly, Meta is trying to give users more controls of their messaging inbox. For example, the social network recently introduced a program where people can determine for themselves what offensive words, phrases and emojis they want to filter into a Hidden Folder.

Last but not least, reporting is the main tool for people to stay safe and help Meta effectively take action against abuse. As you can imagine, it’s mandatory that the steps you take to report abuse should be fairly easy to follow and safe. In the following months, Meta will make it much easier to report harm and try to teach its users how to identify scammers and impersonators by redesigning the reporting feature in Messenger.

Meta announced last month it has decided to delay the launch of default end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram. The long-awaited security feature is now expected to arrive sometime in 2023.
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