Zoom has announced that it will provide all users around the globe – whether they pay a subscription or not – with end-to-end encryption as an advanced add-on feature. Early beta of the E2EE feature will begin in July. It had originally planned to exclude free calls from its encryption service.
Since releasing the draft design of Zoom’s end-to-end encryption (E2EE) on May 22, the San Jose-headquartered company said in a blog post yesterday (17 June) that it has engaged with civil liberties organizations, its CISO council, child safety advocates, encryption experts, government representatives, users, and others to gather their feedback on this feature. It has also explored new technologies to enable it to offer E2EE to all tiers of users.
CEO Eric Yuan said: “Today, Zoom released an updated E2EE design on GitHub. We are also pleased to share that we have identified a path forward that balances the legitimate right of all users to privacy and the safety of users on our platform. This will enable us to offer E2EE as an advanced add-on feature for all of our users around the globe – free and paid – while maintaining the ability to prevent and fight abuse on our platform.”
Sharing Yuan’s post on LinkedIn, Jason Thomas, CIO at Cole, Scott & Kissane said: “Thank you for listening to customers!”
This is the post in full:
Today, Zoom released an updated E2EE design on GitHub. We are also pleased to share that we have identified a path forward that balances the legitimate right of all users to privacy and the safety of users on our platform. This will enable us to offer E2EE as an advanced add-on feature for all of our users around the globe – free and paid – while maintaining the ability to prevent and fight abuse on our platform.
To make this possible, 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. 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.
We plan to begin early beta of the E2EE feature in July 2020. All Zoom users will continue to use AES 256 GCM transport encryption as the default encryption, one of the strongest encryption standards in use today.E2EE will be an optional feature as it limits some meeting functionality, such as the ability to include traditional PSTN phone lines or SIP/H.323 hardware conference room systems. Hosts will toggle E2EE on or off on a per-meeting basis. Account administrators can enable and disable E2EE at the account and group level.
We are grateful to those who have provided their input on our E2EE design, both technical and philosophical. We encourage everyone to continue to share their views throughout this complex, ongoing process.