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Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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Zoom free users will not receive advanced end-to-end encryption

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Reading time: 2 min read

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Reading time: 2 min read

Zoom recently reported the first quarter of the year results, which have increased drastically both in terms of usage and revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Eric Yuan, the video conferencing app CEO, stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased Zoom’s usage and revenue due to the disruption of face-to-face interactions, and they are all humbled by the accelerated adoption of the platform.

The revenue grew with 169% year-over-year, while the usage was up to 354%. Such numbers were expected, Zoom having reported that it had surpassed 300 million users, down from ten million in December earlier in March.

The platform has been working to enhance their systems to cope with the increased demand. This has led to an update of their security features to address several issues that had increased negative attention towards them.

While Zoom’s multi-participant conferencing capacity is quite convenient, their systems have been found to be exposing data to several risks to the point that the FBI issued a warning regarding this. This action made Zoom revise its security structure, introduce end-to-end encryption, and add new security experts to ensure user data is protected.

However, Zoom says that not every user will access these increased security measures. “Corporate clients will get access to Zoom’s end-to-end encryption service now being developed, but Yuan said free users wouldn’t enjoy that level of privacy, which makes it possible for third parties to decipher communications,” Bloomberg stated.

Yuan added that the reason the encryption will not be available for free users is that they are working with the local law enforcement and FBI, in case some users decide to use the platform for an ill purpose.

This action may lead to more users shifting to more secure platforms such as Facebook’s Rooms or Google Meet, which is free now for video calls. This decision not to offer end-to-end subscription is an odd stance, but then again, Zoom wants to maintain a healthy relationship with the authorities.

It is possible that the criminals could just subscribe to these benefits, but Zoom will have their contact information on their file. However, to utilize such, the platform would require to monitor what is said in the conferences, which would make any such protection invalid anyway.

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Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen
America | Simon Cohen is native New Yorker and a fan of all things tech. Apart from writing about tech, Simon spends his time in the music studio as a producer.
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