Forward-looking: Zoom’s E2EE will be optional as enabling it will come at the cost of some features. For example, those using a traditional telephone line won’t be able to participate in an encrypted meeting. The company will start beta testing the new security feature early next month.

Zoom Video Communications this week backtracked on its previous stance relating to end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for its users.

Company CEO Eric Yuan set off a firestorm earlier this month when it was revealed during an earnings call that its upcoming E2EE feature would be limited to paying subscribers. After engaging with security experts, government reps, encryption advocates and other experts, the tech firm said it has “identified a path forward” in which it can offer E2EE for all.

To enable the feature, Yuan said free / basic users will be required to verify their phone number via a text message. This risk-based authentication step should help to limit the mass creation of abusive accounts.

Zoom has grown tremendously over the past few months as a direct result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. As people were sent home en masse, many turned to the Internet to continue working remotely and for millions, that meant installing and utilizing a video conferencing app like Zoom.

The company said in April that it had more than 300 million daily users but later corrected its statement to read “300 million daily Zoom meeting participants.”

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