“Zoom’s E2EE system will see an encryption key generated by the host of each meeting, with public key cryptography distributing the keys to other participants in each call.”
Zoom will start rolling out end-to-end encryption next week.
As VentureBeat reports, the video chat platform had initially indicated that it would enable E2EE security for paying subscribers of its service, but after facing a backlash from privacy and consumer advocates arguing that individuals shouldn’t have to pay for basic security, Zoom revised its plans to bring E2EE to all users.
It’s a particularly important issue now that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a wave of new users to Zoom’s service. For many, it’s the go-to video conferencing platform for keeping in touch with colleagues, friends, and family amid ongoing social distancing requirements.
Zoom’s E2EE system will see an encryption key generated by the host of each meeting, with public key cryptography distributing the keys to other participants in each call. With the keys hosted off of Zoom’s own servers, this means that Zoom itself won’t have the keys needed to access and decrypt the content of its video calls.
The step up in digital security comes after Zoom added support for two-factor authentication to its platform in September. The 2FA security options revolve around shared secrets, either via a time-based One-Time Password or through OTP’s sent via SMS or phone call.
Zoom will be rolling out E2EE security in phases. In the first phase, certain features of the platform, such as live polling and transcription, will be unavailable. Zoom says there will be three more phases to follow, with phase two tentatively planned for 2021.