If Facebook Messenger is only end-to-end encrypted if I start a secret conversation, how secure is a normal conversation?

  • Can Facebook theoretically access my messages?
  • Does Facebook scan the contents of my conversations for ads purposes?
  • 3
    1. yes. 2. they would be fools not to. 3. you can review the EULA, most folks simply don't care
    – dandavis
    Jan 28, 2018 at 10:21
  • 2
    How did Facebook get away with it? Almost 10 years after Zuckerberg calling users "dumbfucks" for trusting them, people still use it. Facebook doesn't care about privacy, and clearly Facebook users don't care either.
    – forest
    Jan 28, 2018 at 22:48
  • I think the first two questions are on topic. Then it gets very vague and broad. We can not do a general review of all FB security and privacy issues.
    – Anders
    Jan 29, 2018 at 12:45
  • Could you try to edit your question to make it more focused on a specific issue that can be covered in a short answer?
    – Anders
    Jan 29, 2018 at 12:46

1 Answer 1


Of course they can, they can access everything and anything that is uploaded, or used on their platform. Non end-to-end communication encrypts the data between you and Facebook, and the recipient and Facebook. So Facebook sees everything. The only exception is when using end-to-end communication, when data is encrypted between you and the recipient directly and Facebook may not be able to see the messages.

[Unless in a situation where the government gets a court order to disable the end-to-end communication feature so that messages are not encrypted when using end-to-end communications even though you think it is, but I am not a lawyer nor an expert on Facebook's terms and conditions]

For more information, read the terms and conditions, privacy policy and ad policy on the Facebook website: https://www.facebook.com/policies Each website has their own conditions that you agreed to when you signed up or used their services.

  • 2
    If end-to-end encryption is done properly, then FB simply can't see what you send, regardless of how many court orders they get. However.... if FB has access to the keys, or has access to your message history, they'll simply use that. Their app might store messages that you thought were deleted. It may store the keys used for encryption, in a place where they can take it if they need to. It's probably in the fine print somewhere that they are allowed to do this.
    – S.L. Barth
    Jan 29, 2018 at 14:45
  • 1
    For end-to-end encryption to be secure, the user needs to verify the cryptographic identity of the end-point they're communicating with, and the user MUST be informed if that identify changes. That is not the case with WhatsApp, which they received a lot of backlash from. I don't know about Messenger, but it probably has the same problem, so theoretically the service provider, i.e. Facebook, could change the keys without you noticing and inserting themselves as a MITM. Oct 5, 2018 at 13:38

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