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Zoom Rolls out End-to-End Encryption Feature, with Some Conditions Attached

Zoom Rolls out End-to-End Encryption Feature, with Some Conditions Attached

Zoom has officially started rolling out support for end-to-end encryption, months after it announced the feature. The company said the feature will now be available to both free and premium customers.

The new feature, provided to allow for more security, grants participants at every meeting, only the authorization to access their content. Therefore, third-parties, including Zoom itself, will be unable to access participants’ content in the future.

The company said that its end-to-end encryption support cuts across several platforms including Mac, PC, iOS, and Android. It also supports Zoom Rooms, but not the web or third-party clients, using Zoom SDK.

The service was launched in a technical preview mode. This means that Zoom is requesting feedback on the feature from users for 30 days. However, after this given timeline, the feature will still be available to users, The Verge reports.

Zoom had earlier offered encryption for its virtual meeting app. However, the feature was not comprehensive, since it was limited to being just between the participants and Zoom servers. To confirm if your Zoom service is end-to-end encrypted, check the green shield at the top left during a meeting. If it shows a padlock icon, then your call is securely encrypted.

The latest end-to-end encryption comes with a few drawbacks. It does not support some of Zoom’s great features, including cloud recording, live transcription, polling, meeting reactions, and join before the host. Moreover, participants won’t be able to join using a telephone, SIP/H.323 devices, on-premise configurations, or Lync/Skype clients. According to Zoom, these are services that cannot be encrypted.

Zoom’s E2EE feature supports a maximum of 200 people. For those on Zoom’s Basic or Pro plans, this won’t be a problem, since their plans only allow for a maximum of 100 participants. However, those on Business or Enterprise plans would be significantly affected because of their plans, which max out at 300 or 500 people, respectively.

Zoom had courted controversy back in May when it announced that its end-to-end encryption would only support users on the premium version of its service. It said this was to dissuade the service. After much criticism followed, the company backtracked on its earlier announcement. The company has made good its promise by making end-to-end encryption available for both free and paid users. However, Zoom said free users would have to verify their phone numbers using SMS and have a valid billing option associated with their account.

The company said the end-to-end encryption is just one of many other great features it plans to roll out in the coming months, including better identity management and support for single sign-on.


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