The Google Messages app has been offering end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for one-on-one chats that are carried over RCS (Rich Communication Services) for the past two years. However, the same security isn’t available for group chats. Google had announced that E2EE will be available in RCS group chats “later this year,” but there’s no update on its development. According to a few users, Google has started testing end-to-end encryption for group chats.
A user on Reddit has noticed a message in an RCS group chat in the Google Messages app (mostly beta version), which says that the message is encrypted. The message also asks the user to visit a webpage to learn more about this feature. This link, interestingly, mentions end-to-end encryption in it. It suggests that Google has at least started testing end-to-end encryption for RCS group chats in the Google Messages app.
The notice itself appears to be broken, and that’s most likely because the feature is still in the early phase of development. Interestingly, this RCS group chat message also appeared for people using the Samsung Messages app. Maybe the message is broken because the end-to-end encryption feature is supposed to work only between Google Messages users.
Although we need more clarity on this front, it is great news that E2EE for RCS group chats is now one step closer to the launch.