Zoom Now Says End-to-End Encryption Will Be Available for All Users

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In a U-turn by the popular videoconferencing platform, Zoom this week announced it will make end-to-end encryption available to all users, both paid and unpaid.

…we have identified a path forward that balances the legitimate right of all users to privacy and the safety of users on our platform. This will enable us to offer E2EE as an advanced add-on feature for all of our users around the globe — free and paid — while maintaining the ability to prevent and fight abuse on our platform.

To make this possible, Free/Basic users seeking access to E2EE will 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. Many leading companies perform similar steps on account creation to reduce the mass creation of abusive accounts. We are confident that by implementing risk-based authentication, in combination with our current mix of tools — including our Report a User function — we can continue to prevent and fight abuse.

End-to-end encryption ensures no one but the participants and their devices can see and hear what is happening in a meeting, although it will exclude people who call in to Zoom meetings from a telephone line.

Zoom has attracted millions of free and paying customers amid the global health crisis, with stay-at-home measures causing a surge in the number of people working remotely.

Zoom originally said its initial decision to offer full encryption to premium users only had been based on “a combination of technological, safety and business factors,” however in this case it appears as though public pressure won out and led the company to reconsider.

Apple already uses end-to-end encryption to protect FaceTime users as call data travels between two or more devices. Even Apple can’t decrypt the call and listen in to user’s conversations.

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