As Apple continues its battle with the FBI with respect to encryption, popular companies that own messaging apps are reportedly considering beefing up their security systems with expanded encryption measures.
This could mean that the iPhone maker may soon get some serious backing from the players in question, among them Facebook, Google, Snapchat as well as WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, the Guardian reports.
The companies mentioned above have already aired their public support for Apple in the ongoing case against federal law enforcers as the latter looks to access data contained on an iPhone through the help of the former. Now that there is news of these companies looking into expanded encryption, it would work in Apple’s favor as they would only be adding muscle to their “friend of the court” brief given out to support Cupertino.
End-to-end encryption to move to other products
End-to-end encryption is increasingly becoming a common form of encryption for messaging apps, among them Snapchat and WhatsApp. This has ensured that user data is secure in a way that even the company itself cannot access it from their end.
Latest reports now suggest that a team of Google employees have been in discussion regarding plans to expand this kind of encryption and bring it to other products. However, there is no final word yet regarding which devices might receive this end-to-end encryption.
Google has had trouble implementing end-to-end encryption due to its nature of business. The company has to scan user emails in order to create room for proper Ad targeting. While this is happening at Google, Snapchat and Facebook seem to be working on more advanced security features for their entire list of messaging apps. Of course, WhatsApp already received this encryption, but it only affects the messaging department.
It seems Facebook wants to extend this end-to-end encryption from messaging to WhatsApp voice calls as well as group chats in the coming weeks. This means that government and other agencies will not be able to tap or access any information on WhatsApp calls or even group chats. This news comes in just days after reports emerged that this world-popular chat app could be the next target by the Department of Justice. A federal judge has asked for WhatsApp messages to be decrypted as investigators look into an ongoing case, something that the company has said on more than one occasion is not possible.
Apps such as Telegram, Signal and Wickr have been offering end-to-end encryption for quite some time. However, they have only come to light in recent times as the encryption battle keeps heating up. Major companies are aware that if they don’t step up their privacy and security measures, these startups will outshine them sooner or later.