When it comes to yourMessengerinbox, Facebook thinks that only you and Facebook
should have access to the?theoretically private?conversations contained within.

To that end,reports Engadget
[https://www.engadget.com/facebook-test-lock-inbox-face-id-184615566.html],
Facebook is testing new ways to secure its app. Specifically, on an unspecified
number of iOS devices, the social-media giant has added a second layer of
protection to Messenger?s inbox. If enabled, users will need to either re-enter
their?passcode, or engage Touch ID or?Face ID?before they can read all their
juicy messages.

The idea behind the change is simple: If someone gets access to your unlocked
device, this security feature provides an additional barrier that will prevent
the bad actor from reading your Messenger messages. Which, hey, that?s a good
thing.

We reached out to Facebook for additional details on the test, like how
widespread it is, but received no immediate response.

Engadget was able to get a statement from a Facebook spokesperson ? although
there?s not much there.

?We want to give people more choices and controls to protect their private
messages, and recently, we began testing a feature that lets you unlock the
Messenger app using your device?s settings,? noted the spokesperson. ?It?s an
added layer of privacy to prevent someone else from accessing your messages.?

It?s worth noting, however, that if Facebook truly cared about the privacy of
your Messenger messages, then it would enable end-to-end encryption ? which it
calls ?secret conversation? ? by default. It?does not. That means that Facebook,
and by extension law enforcement, is technically able to read your messages
unless you dig around in the settings and turn on end-to-end encryption
yourself.

For its part,Facebook has claimed
[https://www.wired.com/story/facebook-messenger-end-to-end-encryption-default/] that enabling end-to-end encryption by default is ?incredibly challenging[.]?
Law enforcement, no doubt, is pleased with that view. The Justice Department and
the FBIhave for years argued
[https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/08/post-snowden-tech-became-more-secure-but-is-govt-really-at-risk-of-going-dark/] that encryption prevents them from investigating crimes that take place on, or
are coordinated over, the internet.

If none of this concerns you, and for some reason you?re still using Messenger
over free and privacy-first options like?Signal, and you happen to have an
iPhone, and by chance you are part of this test group, then by all means drop
this new and extra layer of security on your Messenger inbox.

It?s not like it will make your inbox any less private than it already is, and
it might just keep out some prying eyes.

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