End-to-end encryption ensures that strangers, businesses, and governments can’t drop into your chats or video calls. It’s essential for online privacy, so all websites should use it, right? Well, after initially claiming that only premium users deserve their privacy, Zoom announced that free users will also receive end-to-end encryption.
Zoom’s decision to put end-to-end encryption behind a paywall spread across the internet quicker than a wildfire. Not because everyone is obsessed with encryption, but because the CEO of Zoom told Bloomberg journalist Nico Grant that:
Free users for sure we don’t want to give that because we also want to work together with FBI, with local law enforcement in case some people use Zoom for a bad purpose.
The quote is word-salad, but you get the point. Zoom chose to make encryption a premium feature because they want to hand free users’ information to law enforcement. Now that Zoom is backtracking, the service’s free users will have the privacy that they deserve, and actual criminals won’t have access to private conversations.
Of course, Zoom doesn’t have the best track-record for privacy. The video chatting tool is banned by some schools, businesses, and even the U.S. senate because it leaves people vulnerable to snoops and hackers. Maybe that’ll change in July, when Zoom tests its end-to-end encryption tool, along with some other security improvements.