Google has introduced that its Messages app will now provide end-to-end encryption for all RCS conversations by default. This may make them safer and personal from third events. The characteristic, which was beforehand accessible just for one-on-one chats, has been expanded to group chats as nicely.
“All your RCS conversations in Messages by Google are end-to-end encrypted, together with group chats, which retains them personal between you and the individuals you’re messaging,” Google wrote on its help web page.
RCS, or Wealthy Communication Providers, is a protocol that goals to enhance customary SMS messaging with extra options, similar to typing indicators, learn receipts, and high-resolution media sharing. Google has been a significant proponent of RCS and has built-in it into its Messages app for Android units.
What’s end-to-end encryption?
One of many drawbacks of RCS was that it didn’t provide end-to-end encryption, which implies that the messages could possibly be accessed by Google, carriers, or different intermediaries. Finish-to-end encryption ensures that solely the sender and the receiver can learn the messages and nobody else can decrypt them.
It really works by utilizing a secret key that’s shared solely between the sender and the receiver. The sender makes use of this key to encrypt the info earlier than sending it, and the receiver makes use of the identical key to decrypt it after receiving it. The secret is by no means saved or transmitted by anybody else, so it can’t be stolen or intercepted.
Google began rolling out end-to-end encryption for one-on-one RCS chats in late 2020 and promised to convey it to group chats as nicely. On Tuesday, the corporate introduced that it has fulfilled that promise and that each one RCS conversations in Messages will now be absolutely end-to-end encrypted by default.
Wh0 else helps end-to-end encryption?
It is a important improve for Google Messages, because it brings it nearer to the extent of safety and privateness provided by different messaging apps, similar to Apple’s iMessage, Sign, Telegram, Snapchat and WhatsApp. All these apps have end-to-end encryption for all chats and have been extensively praised for his or her stance on consumer privateness.
Google’s announcement additionally comes at a time when there may be growing scrutiny and debate over the usage of encryption in messaging apps, particularly about legislation enforcement and nationwide safety. Some governments have known as for backdoors or entry keys to encrypted messages, whereas some tech firms have resisted such calls for.
The corporate hopes that extra customers will undertake RCS as a normal for messaging and that it’ll work with different companions to make it extra extensively accessible.
Nevertheless, one of many largest challenges for RCS adoption is that Apple has not supported it on its units. Apple’s iMessage makes use of its proprietary protocol, which is incompatible with RCS. Because of this customers who textual content between Android and iOS units won’t be able to take pleasure in the advantages of RCS except Apple decides to affix the initiative.