Zoom brings end-to-end encryption to its cloud phone service

·Contributing Reporter
·1 min read
Thomas Trutschel via Getty Images

Zoom is bolstering its privacy and security protections by expanding end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to more of its services. First up is Zoom Phone, its cloud phone system. Users of that service will be able to switch on E2EE during one-on-one calls. When it's on, E2EE will ensure calls are secure with cryptographic keys that only the calling and receiving devices can access. You'll be able to verify the E2EE status by sharing a security code with the other person.

At the moment, it's only possible to enable E2EE on Zoom Phone for calls between users on the same company Zoom account. They'll need to be on the Zoom Phone desktop or mobile app and switch off automatic call recording. Account owners or admins will need to enable E2EE via a web portal before their users can activate it on calls.

In addition, E2EE will soon be available in breakout rooms — smaller discussions that break off from group meetings. Each breakout room can have its own encryption key. Again, account owners or admins will need to enable E2EE for their users.

Zoom started rolling out E2EE for meetings in October 2020, a few months after the company took off amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a trend of uninvited guests "zoombombing" calls emerged. Zoom initially planned to limit E2EE to paid accounts, but it relented after a backlash and offered it to everyone.

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