Zoom Made A U-turn, Will Now Offer End-to-End Encryption Feature To All Users

Zoom officially announced on June 17 that the company will now offer end-to-end encryption feature to all users. The California-based company had originally planned to offer this option to paid users only. The move indicates that Zoom is continuing to address criticism. Zoom has faced criticism over security and privacy issues during the pandemic.

The Zoom app has attracted millions of users during the coronavirus pandemic as the pandemic forced a lot of individuals to work from home. The new change may also keep a lot of users from switching to alternate video-calling services offered by competitors such as Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Cisco.

The E2E encryption technology prevents anybody except the participants of a call from access the information in the conversation. With this technology, Zoom will be able to enhance the privacy of its service. End-to-end encryption not only protects users against hackers but it also makes it impossible for law enforcement or government agencies to access the content. Government agencies cannot see the content even if they have the legal right to access the information in the conversation.

Eric Yuan, Zoom CEO spoke to analysts earlier this month on a conference call. He said that the company will provide the end-to-end encryption feature to those customers who paid for Zoom’s enterprise or business plan. Zoom was previously providing the feature to paid users, however, the video-conferencing software company has now made a U-turn.

Zoom CEO wrote in a blog post that the company has figured out a way that would balance the legitimate right of all Zoom users to privacy and their safety on the platform. This will allow the company to offer the end-to-end encryption feature to all free and paid users across the globe while also maintaining the ability to prevent and combat abuse on the platform.

The feature will be made available in the beta version of the Zoom app in July 2020. The host of any meeting will be able to enable or disable this feature, and account administrators will have the option to enable or disable end-to-end encryption for individual accounts and groups. The feature will not be turned on by default, and the default setting will be 256-bit advanced encryption, or AES encryption. The current options protect data from unwanted access while the data is moving across the internet.

You will have to go undergo a one-time verification process to enable the higher-grade encryption feature. The service may ask you for additional information like your mobile number for the verification process.

Eric Yuan stated that several leading companies perform similar steps on account creation for reducing the mass generation of abusive accounts. The company will be able to prevent and combat abuse by implementing risk-based authentication, in combination with the current mix of tools and features of the Zoom app.

In the most recent quarter, the revenue of the company grew by 169% as the usage of the Zoom app surged during the pandemic. Zoom’s stock price has increased by nearly 250% year to date.

Photo Credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images

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