Zuckerberg Unsent Facebook Messages. Soon You Can, Too

Following reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other company executives were able to recall instant messages sent via Facebook Messenger from others users' inboxes, Facebook told TechCrunch that it will extend the "unsend" feature to everyone.

Credit: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.comCredit: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com

The new feature should be available in the next few months, and Facebook says its executives will not be able to recall messages until the tool is available to everyone.

"After Sony Pictures' emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives' communications," Facebook told TechCrunch. "These included limiting the retention period for Mark’s messages in Messenger. We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages.”

But among Facebook's recent privacy scandals, including the unauthorized use of data by outside firm Cambridge Analytica, this appeared to be yet another breach of trust. The company hasn't yet decided on exactly how an unsend feature will work, but it's possible that users will be able to set timers on messages to expire.

Currently, Facebook offers "secret" ecnrypted messages with an expiration timer, but it is unclear if regular messages will receive a similar implementation.

Facebook has been on an apology tour since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and a separate scandal involving Facebook logging calls and texts made from Android phones, came to light. The revelation of a super-secret feature available only to Facebook top brass doesn't look great. It's also now unclear how data will be stored or removed once a message is "unsent."

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