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Zoom to roll out end-to-end encryption for both paid and free users starting next week

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Zoom has announced that it will be rolling out end-to-end encryption starting next week. Users of the video conferencing platform, both free and paid, across the world will be able to host up to 200 participants in an end-to-end encryption meeting on Zoom. There will be increased privacy and security for the Zoom sessions. Zoom Head of Security Engineering Max Krohn said that the feature will be initially available as a technical preview and users can provide their feedback to the company for the first 30 days.

There will be four phases for the end-to-end encryption rollout and the first phase will be rolled out next week.

At present, the host of the Zoom meeting generates encryption keys and uses public key cryptography to distribute these keys to the other participants in the meeting. Zoom said that it continues to use the same GCM encryption; the difference was where those encryption keys live.

Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan said that the end-to-end encryption (E2EE) is another stride toward making the video conferencing platform the most secure communications platform in the world.

"This phase of our E2EE offering provides the same security as existing end-to-end-encrypted messaging platforms, but with the video quality and scale that has made Zoom the communications solution of choice for hundreds of millions of people and the world's largest enterprises," Yuan said.

The Phase 2 with better identity management and E2EE single-sign-on (SSO) integration is expected to be rolled out in 2021.

To use Zoom end-to-end encryption, members will be required to enable E2EE meetings at the account level and opt-in E2EE on a pre-meeting basis.

The host of the Zoom meeting can enable the setting for E2EE at the account, group, and user level. It can be locked at the account or group level. All the participants must have the setting enabled to join an E2EE meeting.

Zoom said that in Phase 1, all meeting participants must join from the Zoom desktop client, mobile app, or Zoom Rooms.

Enabling the upcoming version of Zoom's E2EE in meetings will disable some features such as join before host, cloud recording, streaming, live transcription, Breakout Rooms, polling, 1:1 private chat, and meeting reactions.

To verify if the Zoom meeting is using end-to-end-encryption, participants can check for a green shield logo in the top left corner of their meeting screen. If the padlock is in the middle, it means the meeting is using E2EE.

Participants will also be able to see the meeting leader's security code that they can use to verify the secure connection.

 

Also See: Zoom releases a new Single Sign-On authentication feature to make online classes more secure

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