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Zoom Will Finally Offer End-To-End Encryption For Free Users

Zoom Will Finally Offer End-To-End Encryption For Free Users

Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) on Wednesday announced it would let free users access end-to-end encryption on its platform.

What Happened

"[We] have identified a path forward that balances the legitimate right of all users to privacy and the safety of users on our platform," the video conferencing platform developer said in a statement.

Zoom noted that the "advanced add-on feature" will be available for all users, whether they are paying for the service or using it for free. A beta version of the feature will be released next month, the company said.

To be able to turn on the end-to-end encryption, the users must have verified their identity in a one-time process, like "verifying a phone number via a text message."

Zoom said many leading companies use such verification methods to "reduce the mass creation of abusive accounts."

Why It Matters

The San Jose-based company announced the implementation of end-to-end encryption last month, but at the time, said that only paying users will be eligible.

According to Zoom, it would be harder to cooperate with legal authorities in case of platform abuse, if end-to-end encryption was allowed for free users. In the latest announcement, Zoom suggested the additional verification method will help meet this requirement.

The company has made several security upgrades in recent months as it faced criticism for abuse on its platform, in particular of minors who have been using the platform for educational purposes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Price Action

Zoom shares closed nearly 2.4% lower at $236.76 on Wednesday. The shares traded 0.2% higher in the after-hours session at $237.30.


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