Zoom video conferencing app will offer end-to-end encryption even to free users after verifying their mobile phone number
Zoom honchos on Wednesday announced that henceforth Zoom video conferencing app will offer end-to-end encryption to all free users after they verify their account by providing an additional piece of information, such as their mobile number. The move comes after a huge public outcry over Zoom’s no-encryption policy to free users to help law enforcement agencies.
Zoom’s security infrastructure has been questionable ever since it was launched. In fact, just a week back, an investor had filed a derivative lawsuit against the Zoom CEO Eric Yuan and CEO, Kelly Steckelberg alleging they made whopping $173 million through insider trading in collusion with other board members. The lawsuit alleges that the Zoom founders made money by profiteering form the security concerns which made the Zoom stock tank.
If you remember, Zoom had earlier announced that only paying customers and schools would benefit from its upcoming end-to-end encryption feature, arguing that free users are more likely to commit abuse and the company wants to be able to assist law enforcement investigations. This had caused a huge outcry with Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and many others calling Zoom to reverse this policy.
It seems that the public outcry and the lawsuit convinced Zoom CEO and CFO to abandon the risky security policy in favor of end-to-end encryption for all users. Zoom announced that it had found a way to offer end-to-end encryption to all users. It said that the free Zoom App users will have to opt for end-to-end encryption by verifying themselves.
“To make this possible, Free/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. Many leading companies perform similar steps on account creation to reduce the mass creation of abusive accounts. We are confident that by implementing risk-based authentication, in combination with our current mix of tools — including our Report a User function — we can continue to prevent and fight abuse.”
The new end-to-end encryption feature will be available to your after Zoom rolls out an update in July, 2020