Is Facebook offering Encrypted Messaging enough?

March 29, 2019

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End-to-end data encryption is not the only thing relevant to restrict technological companies from sharing our private communications or gathering data for targeted advertising. In fact it needs a lot more. In a recent post, Mark Zuckerberg expressed his vision for “privacy-focused social network” built on 3 messaging applications: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct.

The proposal—published few days before the 1st anniversary of Cambridge Analytica controversy —which is a mere plan of protecting users’ private data by accumulating end-to-end encryption.  However, this technology preventing any third-party users to read the message content shared between a sender and recipient, is already available on other platforms. And even with this change of privacy laws, Facebook still won’t prevent the use of consumers’ conversations for gathering data.

Attorney Emory Roane, says “Just because it’s encrypted doesn’t mean that it’s private,” focusing on the policy issues for Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

Where Mark Zuckerberg promised protection features in his post, explaining that in future Facebook messages and all the metadata to get deleted automatically after a quantified time, making the data secure in nations respecting privacy. However, Zuckerberg did not obligate to any time line for implementing these changes, explaining that it would all take place over the upcoming years.

There is simply no reason for users to wait for all the concrete features like end-to-end data encryption for communications, where all these features are already available in the most private applications like Signal.

Consumers need to be aware of numerous nuances. Even if any company do not read the messages, it could still be used for gathering data for showing targeted ads.

To jot it down clearly, there are 2 types of messages, where first one is the traditional SMS (Short Message Service).

Another kind of message is the one you share through services like Facebook messenger, Signal, WhatsApp, Apple’s iMessage, Gchat, or Telegram. All these services do not use SMS typical protocols as it shares the information through regular internet.

Services, like Signal, are already using end-to-end encryption. On the other hand, Facebook Messenger do not offers end-to-end encryption.

All these things are fine, but whatever you write in a text is not the only important thing, when it concerns privacy, there are other things as well.

metadata—information like who you are text to, how frequently, and what time—is just as valuable to marketing companies and advertisers as normal messages.

WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption, but it says having access to metadata is a fair game to be used for marketing. The company’s privacy policy explains “Facebook and the other companies in the Facebook family also may use information from us to improve your experiences within their services such as making product suggestions and showing relevant offers and ads.”

On the contrary, Signal, is an application favored by various data security and privacy experts, as it doesn’t share any metadata, as per the Open Whisper System’s privacy policy.

How to Protect Data Privacy?

Internet users being a part of companies track their web searches or even scan emails for gathering the marketing information, but there are platforms like Signal offering a higher level of data privacy. In order to make sure that your communications stay safe and protected, it is bet to use an encrypted messaging service. Even if platforms like Facebook promises not to have access to the messages, you should be sure of being protected against any hackers, hampering the private data. For this, it is best to make use of an encrypted messaging service. For protecting every single part of the conversation secure and protected.

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