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.


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

(View all)
Avatar
10 weeks 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)
Avatar
10 weeks 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)
Avatar
10 weeks 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)
Avatar
10 weeks 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)
Avatar
10 weeks 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)
Avatar
10 weeks 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

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

2020 iMac Benchmarks Surface Online [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 7:16 am PDT by
Benchmarks from the new 2020 iMac have today been shared online by Mac Otakara. The Geekbench benchmarks are from the newly-released 27-inch iMac with 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor and Radeon Pro 5300 graphics, compared to multiple specs of the previous 2019 iMac. The lowest spec 27-inch i5 iMac from 2020 performs about 20 percent better in multicore than the lowest spec 27-inch i5...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

Microsoft's xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Not Coming to iOS Due to Apple's Restrictions [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Microsoft's "Project xCloud" streaming game service that pairs with its Xbox Game Pass won't be available on iPhone and iPad when it launches this September, and Apple's App Store restrictions are to blame. Xbox Game Pass and its accompanying xCloud streaming feature offer access to hundreds of games that can be streamed to mobile devices, and Apple says that because it can't review each...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...