Zoom to offer end-to-end encryption to all users

Zoom has announced it will offer end-to-end encryption (E2EE) as an advanced add-on feature for all of its users, after criticism of initial plans to limit it to paying users. 

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan explained that the plans to exclude E2EE for free users was to allow the possibility of the platform working together with the FBI and local law enforcement. However, with the majority of the world now working remotely as a result of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that apps and digital platforms ensure secure communications. 

Research has revealed that whilst 84% of organisations are continuing to work from home beyond lockdown, the majority are not equipped to work from home securely

Following criticism, Zoom has now changed its plans and after engaging with child safety advocates, encryption experts, government representatives, and civil liberties organisations, Yuan announced that E2EE would be provided to all users. 

Free/Basic users seeking access to E2EE will participate in a “one-time process” that requires users to provide 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,” Yuan said. 

The platform plans to begin the early beta of the E2EE feature in July 2020.

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