Facebook eyeing optional encryption upgrade for Messenger app

Facebook is planning to release an optional encrypted mode for its Messenger app, The Guardian reports. According to three sources close to the project, the social media giant will give its users the choice between extra privacy and better artificial intelligence. Opting to add end-to-end encryption to communications aimed at safeguarding a user’s messages from prying eyes will also have the unhappy side effect of inhibiting some of the new machine learning features being added to Messenger, the sources said.
Facebook declined to comment on the story, but Google publicly announced a similar course for its Allo messaging app, adding extra encryption to the app’s “incognito mode” that inhibits its ability to generate automatic reply suggestions to messages. Producing the reply prompts requires routing the incoming message through Google’s servers for analysis, which makes it nearly impossible to guarantee that the two people exchanging messages are the only ones reading them.


Dan Pye was a news editor at iLounge. He's been involved with technology his whole life, and started writing about it in 2009. He's written about everything from iPhone and iPad cases to Apple TV accessories.