Why it’s taking so long to encrypt Facebook Messenger

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

After a high-profile incident in which subpoenaed Facebook messages led to felony charges for a 17-year-old girl and her mother in a Nebraska abortion case, Meta said Thursday that it would expand testing of end-to-end encryption in Messenger ahead of a planned global rollout.

This week, the company will automatically begin to add end-to-end encryption in Messenger chats for more people. In the coming weeks, it will also increase the number of people who can begin using end-to-end encryption on direct messages in Instagram.

Meanwhile, the company has begun to test a feature called “secure storage” that will allow users to restore their chat history when they install Messenger on a new device. Backups can be locked by a PIN, and the…

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