Video conferencing platform Zoom announced today plans to roll out end-to-end encryption (E2EE) capabilities starting next week.
E2EE will allow Zoom users to generate individual encryption keys that will be used to encrypt voice or video calls between them and other conference participants.
These keys will be stored locally and will not be shared with Zoom servers, meaning the software company won’t be able to access or intercept any ongoing E2EE meetings.
Support for E2EE calls will first be part of Zoom clients to be released next week. To use the new feature, users must update theri clients next week and enable support for E2EE calls at the account level.
This green shield will contain a lock if E2EE is active. If the lock is absent, Zoom will use its default AES 256-bit GCM encryption scheme, which the company uses to secure current communications, but which the company can also intercept.
However, the feature won’t work if it’s not also enabled by conference hosts, which also have options at their disposal to limit calls only for users with E2EE enabled at their account level.
Once enabled, a green shield will be shown in the top-left corner of all Zoom conferences if E2EE is active.
Zoom said next week’s E2EE rollout is part of a four-stage rollout process that will complete in 2021.
“In Phase 1, all meeting participants must join from the Zoom desktop client, mobile app, or Zoom Rooms,” Zoom said today.
The company said E2EE calls would support up to 200 participants, and the feature will be made available to all users, for both paid and free accounts.
Zoom promised support for E2EE encrypted calls back in May when the company faced a rash of criticism because of its weak security posture.