Zoom is now going to ensure that it provides end-to-end encryption to those using the video conferencing service’s free tier as well. This move comes after they initially said that end-to-end encryption would only be available to premium Zoom accounts.
Zoom Announces End-To-End Encryption For Free Users
“Since releasing the draft design of Zoom’s end-to-end encryption (E2EE) on May 22, we have engaged with civil liberties organizations, our CISO council, child safety advocates, encryption experts, government representatives, our own users, and others to gather their feedback on this feature. We have also explored new technologies to enable us to offer E2EE to all tiers of users,” wrote Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan in a blog post.
Zoom’s Popularity Led To Privacy Concerns
The Zoom download numbers saw an exponential surge following the coronavirus outbreak worldwide. Many people were forced to work from home and video conferencing became a necessity. So, in light of this, many users advocated for Zoom to provide better security and encryption for their video calls.
They first started by ensuring that people couldn’t simply crash other people’s Zoom meetings. Zoom meeting logins were already based on a private link. Only the person who created the room could share this link. However, the app initially allowed everyone in the meeting to use audio and share their screen.
This led to some chaos, especially in situations where teachers were conducting lectures. Eventually, those who started the Zoom meeting got more control over what other participants could or couldn’t do. Now, people are asking Zoom to take things a step further, with features like end-to-end encryption.
Zoom Will Use Two-Step Verification To Provide End-To-End Encryption
Eric S. Yuan also outlined how this would work for Zoom accounts in the Free/Basic tier. “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,” he wrote.
So, on your next Zoom login, you may have to go through this process to ensure end-to-end encryption for yourself.