Video conferencing service Zoom has been quite the roller coaster ride over the last several months marked by serious flaws, misleading encryption claims, and massive user growth. Now after previously planning to keep end-to-end encryption as just a feature for paying customers, the company has reversed course and says free users will see it arrive in a beta coming in July alongside paid accounts.

When Zoom first announced that end-to-end encryption (E2EE) wouldn’t be arriving for free users, it used the weak excuse of wanting to prevent illegal use while paying for an account would enable “illegal use.”

In a turnaround, Zoom detailed today’s news on E2EE for its video calls in a blog post (via The Verge). Zoom shared where its work stands on GitHub and announced that E2EE will come to “all of our users around the globe – free and paid” that will come as an optional “advanced add-on.”

Today, Zoom released an updated E2EE design on GitHub. 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. This will enable us to offer E2EE 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.

Here are more specifics:

  • We plan to begin early beta of the E2EE feature in July 2020.
  • All Zoom users will continue to use AES 256 GCM transport encryption as the default encryption, one of the strongest encryption standards in use today.
  • E2EE will be an optional feature as it limits some meeting functionality, such as the ability to include traditional PSTN phone lines or SIP/H.323 hardware conference room systems. Hosts will toggle
  • E2EE on or off on a per-meeting basis. Account administrators can enable and disable E2EE at the account and group level.

Are you planning to use end-to-end encryption with Zoom as soon as it’s available? Or have you or your company moved on to another service already? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Apple July 4 sale Adorama

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.