Google is adding end-to-end encryption to its Android Messages app


Google is upping the security for at least some of the conversations on its Messages app by adding end-to-end encryption.

It will be rolling out end-to-end encryption on Messages, starting with one-on-one conversations between people using the Rich Communication Services-based version of the app.

“End-to-end encryption ensures that no one, including Google and third parties, can read the content of your messages as they travel between your phone and the phone of the person you’re messaging,” the company explained.

“We recognize that your conversations are private and it’s our responsibility to keep your personal information safe.”

SEE: Managing and troubleshooting Android devices checklist (TechRepublic Premium)

The end-to-end encryption will roll out to beta testers beginning this month and continue into next year, the company said, and eligible conversations will automatically upgrade to the new level of security, although this encryption will only be available when both people in the conversation have Messages installed and chat features on.

Google has been gradually rolling out RCS, the successor to SMS, which aims to bring to texting the same sorts of features you’d find in chat apps like Apple’s iMessage and WhatsApp.  

The company has been working with device makers and mobile operators to encourage them to offer the richer features available as result of the shift to RCS, like sending and receiving better quality photos and videos, chatting over Wi-Fi or data, and knowing when your message has been read. The advertising giant said it has now completed the global rollout of chat features and that anyone using Messages should now have access to these additional features, either from their phone company or from Google.

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