Google Messages seems one step closer to bringing end-to-end encryption to group chats

Google Messages seems one step closer to bringing end-to-end encryption to group chats

What you need to know

Google Messages may have already begun early tests for end-to-end encryption for group chat messages.It was spotted by a Reddit user in a group chat with Google Messages and Samsung Messages RCS users.Google mentioned at I/O 2022 that it would bring the security feature to group chats via an open beta later this year.

Google appears to have begun testing its new end-to-end encryption technology for Messages with group chats.

A Reddit user noticed that a message sent between members of their group chat came through saying it was encrypted (via 9to5Google). The chat consisted of users using both Google Messages and Samsung Messages RCS. End-to-end encryption ensures that only the people you’ve texted can see your message, kicking out Google and your carrier from sneaking a peek.

As a follow-up, another user took it upon themself to sift through the app’s debug menu and found that end-to-end encryption is turned on for Google Messages RCS group chats.

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A Reddit user's screenshot of an encrypted RCS group chat message.(Image credit: Reddit)A user's screenshot of the debug menu in Google Messages about e2ee.(Image credit: Reddit)

An encrypted message through Google Messages is made known through a little lock icon below the text message. While Google first announced E2EE coming for individual chats back in 2020, the company announced during its I/O 2022 event that it would begin looking to provide this security feature to group chats.

In Google’s blog post, the company mentioned that the feature would roll out as an open beta first later this year. It looks like we’re beginning to see inklings of the early testing phase slowly make its way around.

Google Messages is a little late in joining the E2EE for group chats party as some of the other best Android messaging apps already feature this.

9to5 also informs that for an RCS group chat to have total encryption for their messages, all members must turn on the security feature once it’s fully out and in users’ hands.