Facebook is in process of bringing new security features in Messenger. Read on to know more about it…
Facebook is currently testing the new security feature among a small percentage of Messenger’s iOS users, though it could eventually be available more widely, including on Android. The feature, which was first leaked back in January, enables Messenger users to secure their inboxes behind Face ID even if the iPhone is unlocked, putting an extra barrier between one’s messages and any nosey person who may be trying to get a look.
Several people use Facebook Messenger as their primary chatting app, meaning it usually contains private conversations and sensitive information. Ordinarily, unlocking one’s phone would make the app accessible, but that can be changed as part of a test that Facebook has introduced with a small number of its iOS users.
As per a report by Facebook is planning a slew of privacy-centric features to safeguard the messages of its users which include identity checks via Face ID, Touch ID or passcode. The report says that these features, when enabled, would make Messenger ask for any of the three options for the users to see their inbox, even when the phone is unlocked. For reauthentication, users would also be able to set a certain time limit after leaving the app. The feature is now being tested among Messenger’s iOS users. The user can choose how long the inbox will remain accessible before it will be locked; the options range from immediately after the user leaves Messenger to up to 1 hour after leaving it.
The report quotes a Facebook spokesperson as saying in a statement that “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. It’s an added layer of privacy to prevent someone else from accessing your messages.”
The feature is similar to security settings of many other popular chat apps, including encrypted messaging app Signal, which has seen a surge in downloads in recent weeks. Facebook has been beefing up the security features of Messenger for some time. The company has an encrypted messaging feature, Secret Conversations, and has said it would like to one day make end-to-end encryption a default setting of the app. Those plans, however, are likely still years away.
The app states that the Face ID information is neither transmitted to nor stored by Facebook. It’s unclear how many iOS users have access to the test at this time and when the feature may go live for everyone. Facebook does plan to make its inbox locking feature available to Android users, as well.
The test isn’t a surprise; feature leaker Jane Manchun Wong tipped the new option way back in January before it became official. The test only launched recently, however, with Facebook explaining that it’s simply a new option for users who care a bit more about securing their private messages.