End-to-end encryption is coming to Google Messages group texts

The expanded feature will arrive as an open beta later this year.

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Almost a year after Google switched on end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for one-on-one chats in the Messages app, it says it's bringing those protections to group texts. The expanded feature will be available as an open beta later this year, the company said today at its I/O 2022 developer conference.

Google hasn't revealed more details about E2EE in group chats, but it will surely be similar to how the option works in one-on-one conversations. Everyone in the group will need to have RCS chat functions switched on to use the feature. You'll be able to tell if a message you're about to share with the group is encrypted if there's a lock icon on the send button.

The Messages app now has more than 500 million monthly active users with RCS. So, there's already a large number of people who'd be able to take advantage of E2EE in group chats. If everyone does enable RCS and E2EE, it'll be much more difficult for snoopers to see the messages the group members are sharing with each other.

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