Zoom to offer end to end encryption security to all users in July

Zoom, the world’s popular video conferencing platform, has announced it will roll out end to end encryption (E2EE) to all users in July this year.

This comes after there has been an outrage over poor security on its cloud based video conferencing platform, with some uninvited guests accessing information during meetings.

Other applications including Signal, Skype and WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in Africa-according to a 2018 report by We Are Social and Hootsuite-offer E2EE in their messages and calls.

Zoom is providing E2EE as an optional additional security which can be enabled and disabled by account administrators at the account and group level considering that it limits some meeting functionality, such as the ability to include traditional PSTN phone lines or SIP/H.323 hardware conference room systems. E2EE ensures that messages can only be read by its sender and receiver and not any third parties. 

In a blog recently, Zoom Video Communications chief executive officer and founder Eric Yuan said they had identified a path forward that balances the legitimate right of all users to privacy and the safety of all daily users on their platform. 

“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,” he said.

“To make this possible, free and basic users seeking access to E2EE will participate in a one-time process that will prompt the user for additional pieces of information, such as verifying a phone number via a text message.”

Yuan said they plan to introduce the E2EE feature in July 2020 and until then “all Zoom users will continue using AES 256 GCM transport encryption as the default encryption, one of the strongest encryption standards in use today.” Africans like the rest of the world started to use Zoom frequently when governments introduced lockdown to curb the possible spread of the global pandemic Coronavirus that has claimed the lives of over 7 000 people while infecting more than 295 000 people on the continent.


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