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Zoom users can finally make end-to-end encrypted calls

About time.

zoom app logo and background
Image: KnowTechie

One thing that Zoom users have disliked about their favorite conferencing platform was the lack of end-to-end encryption. Zoom was acutely aware of this, and for many months relentlessly worked to bring end-to-end encryption to all of its users. Their massive effort finally came to fruition as they have now introduced end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to the video conferencing platform, allowing both paid and free users to make the most of it.

However, unlike paid users, free users will need to verify their free account via an SMS to access Zoom’s E2EE. But once they verify their account, free users will get the same E2EE as paid users.

For now, the E2EE will be in technical preview, meaning Zoom will be getting feedback over the next month or so. Simultaneously, the E2EE won’t be available automatically, but every user will need to activate it. Detailed instructions are available in Zoom’s help center.

Furthermore, the E2EE support extends to Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, and Zoom Rooms. Third-party clients that use Zoom’s SDK and Zoom’s web client can also access the E2EE feature.

Unfortunately, E2EE meetings won’t be available with cloud recording, polling, meeting reactions, or live transcription. Skype/Lync clients and users of telephone, SIP/H.323 devices won’t be able to get end-to-end encryption as well. Zoom didn’t provide any details explaining why that won’t be possible for those users. They just mentioned that their new E2EE encryption doesn’t work with those features.

Another restriction is that Zoom conference meetings that count more than 200 participants won’t have the ability to use E2EE. Zoom seems fine with that as most of their paid users have meetings that rarely exceed over 100 participants. They know that some of their Enterprise and Business users sometimes have conference calls that include as many as 500 people. But again, they believe that their current encryption should be sufficient to cover security concerns.

According to Zoom, this is just the first phase of their upcoming four phases. In the next three phases, they plan to introduce many more security improvements, such as sign-on support and enhanced identity management. The second phase is scheduled for 2021. So far, they haven’t set any precise dates when they plan to introduce the second phase.

What do you think? Are you using Zoom for video conferencing? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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