Video conference and content sharing platform Zoom has announced plans to offer end-to-end encryption on free and paid calls. The company had previously intended to only offer encryption as a chargeable service.
Zoom has become increasingly popular in recent months, available to mobile and desktop users via a web browser or app.
In a blog post
, the company said “we have identified a path forward that balances the legitimate right of all users to privacy and the safety of users on our platform. This will enable us to offer E2EE [end-to-end encryption] 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.”
There’ll be a verification process for users with free or ‘basic’ accounts, “such as verifying a phone number via a text message”.
Beta tests of the new feature are expected to start from July. It’ll remain an optional feature as it can’t be incorporated with calls that include traditional fixed-line telephones or some conference systems.
The Electronic Freedom Foundation
described the move as a “victory”, commenting that “best-practice privacy and security features should not be restricted to users who can afford to pay a premium.”