Zoom, the popular video conferencing software, will release end-to-end encryption next week. The company promised in early April that it would put its security in order.
The encryption comes for both free users and paying customers. It is an option that you activate per account and per meeting. With end-to-end encryption, the call is encrypted on the user’s device and unlocked on the recipient’s devices, without Zoom being able to do anything with it on its own servers.
The keys for this are now also created on your own device. Before that, the keys came from Zoom’s servers, so it was in principle possible that the company could intercept communications. The latter came under criticism for Zoom, especially because part of Zoom’s communication is sent via Chinese servers. After a slew of security vulnerabilities came to light with the rapidly growing app, the company promised in April that it would focus on security.
And that includes end-to-end encryption for everyone. The encryption is primarily rolled out as a test, and you can verify it yourself. The software places a numerical code on your screen, which in principle must correspond with the code that other participants see. A quick survey should show if something is wrong.
That extra security also comes with some drawbacks (depending on how you look at it). For example, you cannot stream or record encrypted meetings via the cloud, for logical reasons. Features such as live transcription, surveys and private chat are also not compatible with the system. Zoom promises to expand its security systems next year, including with ‘single sign-on’.
In collaboration with Datanews