With Meta’s full messaging encryption program still moving ahead, WhatsApp has launched a new push to highlight the dangers of unencrypted messaging, as it seeks to win more support for its controversial plan, and more users to the app.
5.5 billion unencrypted SMS are sent every day. With WhatsApp, your messages won’t be one of them. Step-up to a new era of personal privacy with automatic end-to-end encryption.— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) October 17, 2022
???? Message Privately. No pigeons. WhatsApp ???? pic.twitter.com/YLKIMrkj7y
As you can see in this new video from WhatsApp, Meta’s looking to further highlight the dangers of unsecured messaging services, like SMS, as it moves to the next stage with the project.
WhatsApp has also launched a massive new activation in London to underline the same.
This is @WhatsApp's wild new ad in Piccadilly Circus, London— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) October 10, 2022
watch to the end ???? pic.twitter.com/pGJ4AiLR8K
As the company works to merge all of its messaging services – Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct – into one, interconnected platform, Meta also needs to make them all encrypted by default, which it argues is more in-line with broader consumer demand for increased data privacy, and control over who’s able to access your communications at any stage.
But various government and industry groups have opposed the plan, with the UK Government pushing especially hard against Meta’s encryption roll-out.
Back in August, then UK Home Affairs Secretary Priti Patel called on Meta to reconsider its plans for expanded messaging encryption, as it could potentially impede the ability of police to investigate and prevent child abuse.
Child safety groups have echoed this concern, with The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children arguing that any move to further restrict access to messaging platforms by law enforcement will increase the potential for use of these platforms among perpetrator groups.
At the same time, some research has also suggested that messaging encryption actually strengthens online safety for children “by reducing their exposure to threats such as blackmail, while also allowing businesses to share information securely”.
As per this new push, Meta has clearly stated its view on such, while Meta has also suggested the telecommunications giants are behind at least some elements of the push to stop it highlighting the flaws in SMS messaging, as they seek to keep a hold on consumer markets.
Which, evidently, includes Apple specifically:
There’s no right side in this debate, as there are seemingly valid points within both arguments. But Meta’s determined to move ahead with its messaging integration plan, which it has delayed till next year. But with only months left in 2022, it’s now moving to ramp up its campaign, which will see the debate rise once again heading into the final shift.
Essentially, Meta’s saying that those against its plan will have to speak up now, and present their case. Because it’s moving onto the next stage - and these new promotions are effectively a signal that Meta does still see this as the way forward, which it will be moving on with very soon.
And if it can gain a few more WhatsApp users in the process, that’s another bonus in its broader plan.