Publishedduration45 minutes agoshareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionBy age 12, 90% of children use an online messaging app – despite a 13+ age requirement

Encryption of online messages could make it harder to police child abuse and grooming online, the children's commissioner for England has warned.

End-to-end encryption is a privacy feature that makes it impossible for anyone except the sender and recipient to read messages sent online.

Commissioner Anne Longfield said it also prevented police from gathering evidence to prosecute child abusers.

But digital rights groups see it as an essential part of online privacy.

Facebook, which is behind the most popular messaging apps children use, already offers end-to-end encryption for Whatsapp.

It has added an opt-in version to its Messenger service, with plans to make it the default for all its platforms. That could include Instagram, which does not yet have it.