A year after Google switched on end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for all Android users in the Messages app, it’s bringing those protections to group chats. The expanded feature will be available as an open beta later this year.
Google hasn’t revealed more details, but it’s likely to work in a similar way to E2EE in one-on-one conversations. Everyone in the group will need to have RCS chat functions switched on to use the feature.
The Messages app now has has more than 500 million monthly active users who have RCS. So, there’s already a large number of people who’d be able to take advantage of E2EE in group chats.
You’ll be able to tell if a message you’re about to share with the group is encrypted when there’s a lock icon on the send button. If everyone in a group text enables E2EE, it’ll be much more difficult for snoopers to see the messages they’re sharing with each other.
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