By: Nick Gambino
Zoom has quickly become the go-to virtual meeting platform for the general workforce and those who have no choice but to work from their homes. The only problem is, Zoom is not the most secure option out there. There are plans in play to change that.
Zoom announced that they’re finally getting end-to-end encryption, something they’ve been criticized for not providing.
“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,” the blog post announcing the new end-to-end encryption says. “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.”
As soon as use of the video call platform started to take off during the global quarantine, users started seeing video call bombs (now known as Zoom-bombing) and other intrusions that suggested the platform wasn’t ready to protect the privacy of its users.
Zoom experienced a lot of backlash and set about fixing this egregious error. Though, they weren’t certain that they’d be able to provide the security feature to free members. The main concern seemed to be a fear that free end-to-end encryption would turn the video conferencing software into a playing field for criminals. This recent announcement suggests they got over that fear and found a way to make it work regardless. Identity verification is a big part of that.
As part of this plan to provide end-to-end encryption to all users, Zoom is requiring a one-time identity verification process “that will prompt the user for additional pieces of information, such as verifying a phone number via a text message.” This will help weed out fake accounts and deter shady characters from abusing the platform.
Call admins will have the option of turning off end-to-end encryption if they want to allow users with older equipment or landline phones to take part in the call.
We don’t yet know when this will launch for free and basic users, but we should see the beta roll out some time in July.