Video conferencing app, Zoom is planning to offer full end-to-end encryption to both free and paid users.
This follows the pressure from members of the United States Congress and the public telling the video-conferencing company to ensure privacy. U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, and Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut damned the software maker for not offering end-to-end encryption to users.
Chief Executive Officer of Zoom, Eric Yuan in a blog post said that people using the service at no charge will have to verify their phone numbers to get access to the strongest level of security, End-to-end encryption makes it impossible for third parties to decipher communications but will mean that participants cannot call into a Zoom meeting on a telephone line.
“We are also pleased to share that we have identified a path forward that balances the legitimate right of all users to privacy and the safety of users on our platform. Verifying the identities of free participants will help the company combat abuse taking place on its platform,” Yuan further stated.
Previously, Zoom said it would reserve this feature for large corporate clients who paid for the service. About 70,000 internet users signed two petitions this week urging Zoom to give full encryption to everyone in the interest of cybersafety for those who can’t afford a subscription. Even though Zoom’s stock has more than tripled this year, it has had a series of controversies pertaining to privacy and security.
The video conferencing app hyped when the Coronavirus started but trolls began invading calls with profane, pornographic, and racist content, an act popularly known as Zoombombing.
The CEO said that he would not offer free users full encryption so Zoom could work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) and local law enforcement to identify people who invaded user’s video-conference meetings.
However, Zoom later elucidated this statement after a user complained about law enforcement.