Zoom Developing End-to-End Encryption Feature for Paying Users

Videoconferencing service Zoom says it is developing end-to-end encryption for the platform, but the feature will only be available to paying users.

zoom logo
Speaking to Reuters, Zoom security consultant Alex Stamos confirmed the plan, which had been based on "a combination of technological, safety and business factors."

Zoom has attracted millions of free and paying customers amid the global health crisis, with stay-at-home measures causing a surge in the number of people working remotely.

However, lax security, such as the ability for unregistered users to join meetings, has led to zoom-bombing pranks and caused alarm amongst safety experts and privacy advocates.

"Charging money for end-to-end encryption is a way to get rid of the riff-raff," Jon Callas, a technology fellow of the American Civil Liberties Union, told Reuters. Callas said it would deter spammers and other malicious users who take advantage of free services.

End-to-end encryption ensures no one but the participants and their devices can see and hear what is happening in a meeting, but it would also have to exclude people who call in to Zoom meetings from a telephone line.

Zoom is currently under investigation by regulators such as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over previous claims about encryption that have been criticized as exaggerated or false, according to Reuters.

Privacy experts also told the news organization that with the Justice Department and some members of Congress condemning strong encryption, Zoom could draw unwanted new attention by expanding in that area.

Back in April, Zoom was accused of misleading users with claims that calls on the platform are end-to-end encrypted, when in fact videos are secured using TLS encryption, the same technology that web servers use to secure HTTPS websites.

Currently, Zoom's in-meeting text chat is the only feature of Zoom that is actually end-to-end encrypted. But in theory, the service could spy on private video meetings and be compelled to hand over recordings of meetings to governments or law enforcement in response to legal requests.

Apple already uses end-to-end encryption to protect FaceTime users as call data travels between two or more devices. Even Apple can't decrypt the call and listen in to user's conversations.

Top Rated Comments

Sasparilla Avatar
15 months ago

Is Skype better than them?
From a security standpoint, yes way better. Zoom lied about their encryption multiple times, was caught routing customer calls to China (where their business meetings would be most important), was caught installing a server on the Mac OS application that constantly phoned home information even after you uninstalled Mac Zoom application and the list goes on and on. The execs have most of the development done in China so the devs don't cost anything.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
centauratlas Avatar
15 months ago
“Charging money for end-to-end encryption is a way to get rid of the riff-raff," Jon Callas, a technology fellow of the American Civil Liberties Union

Security only for paying users is a pretty poor model.
Of course the kids use Group FaceTime not zoom except for classes, but it is funny to see the ACLU refer to teachers talking to kids as “riff-raff”.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Metrosey Avatar
15 months ago
End-to-end encryption with the private key stored in China on Chinese equipment with the CA being Chinese.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Makosuke Avatar
15 months ago
This is a welcome change, speaking as someone in a small corner of a relatively large organization that pays for Zoom, and therefore is stuck with it. It's been, frankly, embarrassing to have no option but to invite people from other organizations to meetings using the least-secure option on the market--it's so bad that there are some orgs that literally can't join meetings we start because their security bans Zoom entirely.

Several of the large companies I attend meetings with used to use Zoom, and none of them do now. All of them have switched to Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, or something else.

I put together a security document as part of the recent work-from-home move, and literally had to tell people to avoid using my org's own video conferencing option when security was important.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TiggrToo Avatar
15 months ago

The freedom they stuffed it up in the first place, but now using it to make profits out of.
See above. You must be one of those people who thinks everything should be free, I guess.

So, naturally you work for free, right?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
826317 Avatar
15 months ago

Totally agree. How dare they try to correct the mistakes of the past? And who do they think they are asking users to pay for a service?

/s
If they want to charge for a service, that's fine. If they want to charge for a simple piece of implementation (end-to-end encryption) that's where it becomes an absolute joke for me.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...