As first reported by ITPro, Skype is partnering with popular encrypted communication company Signal to bring end-to-end encryption to its service. The feature, called Private Conversations, will allow Skype users to have an “additional layer of security” for conversations…
Currently, the Private Conversation feature is available in the Skype Insider program, which is the platform Skype uses to test features before rolling them out to the general public.
Skype Private Conversations give you enhanced security through end-to-end encryption with an additional layer of security for conversations between you and your friends and family. Private Conversations can only be between you and one other contact. This is not supported in groups.
Skype’s Private Conversations feature is based on the open-source Signal Protocol and offers several unique features, including device-specific threads and more.
For instance, Private Conversation threads are clearly denoted with a lock icon and preview messages from such threads are not shown in the normal Chats interface or in notifications:
- A Private Conversation will have a lock icon next to your contact’s name.
- Preview messages from Private Conversations will not show in Chats or notifications.
- Private Conversation capabilities are limited. You cannot edit a message or forward a file. From the chat window, only emoticons, files and audio messages are available to send.
- Private Conversations are specific to a device. A new invitation must be sent and accepted, to change to another device.
At this point, it’s unclear as to what plans Skype has to roll out Private Conversations to the general public, but you can join the Skype Insider program here.