Zoom to finally add End-to-End Encryption for free users

Written by Hamnah Khalid ·  1 min read >

Zoom has become one of the most widely used video-conferencing application amid the coronavirus lockdown rules. People have been using Zoom and other such applications to keep in touch with their work or studies whilst also adhering to social distancing and lockdown rules. Recently, however, problems arose with Zoom and people started to question the security of their data and whether their private calls were encrypted.

It was then that customers all around the world were made aware of the fact that Zoom didn’t offer End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) – a method of secure communication that prevents data from being accessed by third-parties while it is being transported between clients. This could have been a potentially lethal problem for Zoom.

The company then announced E2EE for all its paying customers as part of their, “ 90-day plan to improve the security and privacy,” of their platform. The latest blog posted by Eric Yuan, the CEO of Zoom, informs its users that the company now plans on including E2EE for, “all tiers of users.”

The company claims to have deliberately not offered this encryption to all its users in the past to, if anything goes wrong, posses the ability to hold their users accountable for all actions committed involving the service. Yuan, in his post, mentions that him and his team have, “identified a path forward that balances the legitimate right of all users to privacy and the safety of users on our platform.”

Zoom promises to offer AES 256 GCM transport encryption as a default- this encryption has been in use for Zoom calls for quite some time now and Zoom claims that is, “one of the strongest encryption standards in use today.” In order to have E2EE, users will have to, “participate in a one-time process that will prompt the user for additional pieces of information, such as verifying a phone number via a text message.” The company says that it has not enabled this type of encryption as a default on all accounts as E2EE, “limits some meeting functionality, such as the ability to include traditional PSTN phone lines or SIP/H.323 hardware conference room systems.”

Hosts of meetings will be able to toggle E2EE on or off on a, “per-meeting basis.” Zoom has plans to release a beta version of the feature next month.