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Zoom end-to-end encryption preview arrives: How to turn it on

Days after the company announced plans to release its end-to-end encryption feature to everyone, the technical preview has finally arrived. Both paid and free users can access the new security feature, which offers more privacy for those in need. The technical preview is available to all Zoom users around the world at this time, but must be enabled in order to be used.

Zoom notes that its end-to-end encryption (E2EE) feature uses the same GCM encryption that users already obtain from the software – the difference here is that the encryption keys are generated by the session host and public key encryption is used to provide encryption keys to all session participants.

The main feature here is that Zoom’s servers do not have access to the encryption keys, which means that the company itself was unable to access the sessions or anyone who was able to compromise the servers. Encryption technology has become increasingly popular in recent years after Snowden’s disclosures and the general public perception of the erosion of privacy.

Eric S. Yuan, Zoom’s CEO, said:

End-to-end encryption is another stride toward making Zoom the most secure communications platform in the world. This phase of our E2EE offering provides the same security as existing end-to-end-encrypted messaging platforms, but with the video quality and scale that has made Zoom the communications solution of choice for hundreds of millions of people and the world’s largest enterprises.

To use this security feature, Zoom users must enable technical visualization. To do this, account administrators will need to access the software’s web panel to activate the encryption tool. The technical preview is available in the desktop software version 5.4.0, as well as in the latest mobile applications (pending on iOS pending the approval of the App Store).

Sessions protected by E2EE are limited to up to 200 people and all users must have technical visualization enabled to participate. Users can check if a session is protected by E2EE by looking for a small green shield icon in the upper left corner of the meeting screen.

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