Zoom has announced it will be rolling out end-to-end encryption (E2EE) beginning next week.
Zoom quickly became the de facto standard for remote work and distance learning during the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, the company made a number of security missteps early on, leading to a 90-day moratorium on new features as the company focused on security.
One of those issues revolved around E2EE. The company’s early marketing made it appear as if it offered E2EE when, in fact, it did not. The company later announced definitive plans to implement E2EE, although only for paid accounts. After feedback and criticism, the company reversed course, announcing its intention to bring E2EE to all users.
Those plans are coming to fruition, with the company implementing the first phase of its E2EE plans next week:
We’re excited to announce that starting next week, Zoom’s end-to-end encryption (E2EE) offering will be available as a technical preview, which means we’re proactively soliciting feedback from users for the first 30 days. Zoom users – free and paid – around the world can host up to 200 participants in an E2EE meeting on Zoom, providing increased privacy and security for your Zoom sessions.
CEO Eric S. Yuan highlighted the benefits of E2EE, both to customers and the Zoom platform:
End-to-end encryption is another stride toward making Zoom 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.
Once enabled, users will know their meetings are encrypted with E2EE by looking at the green shield icon in the upper left corner. The normal checkmark, indicating GCM encryption, will be replaced by a padlock.