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Zoom is adding end-to-end encryption — but it won't be for everyone

Zoom app
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Zoom's reputation has taken a serious hit over the past few months after numerous security and privacy flaws were uncovered in the video conferencing service. 

Now the company is trying to win people back by implementing new security measures, including the end-to-end encryption it falsely claimed to have already offered.

Zoom said it would offer improved encryption to premium users, but not free customers, during a call with civil liberties groups and child-sex abuse fighters. Zoom security consultant, Alex Stamos, later clarified that the plan could change and it still isn't clear which nonprofit organizations would be allowed encrypted video meetings, Reuters reports

Stamos said the plan drew mixed reactions from privacy advocates. If Zoom implements end-to-end encryption, it would mean only the people on the call could see or hear what is going on. While this is a welcome feature from a privacy perspective, it also means Zoom employees couldn't step in and act on abuse. 

Additionally, safety experts and law enforcement warn that sexual predators and criminals use encryption to avoid detection. This is why Zoom might only offer the feature to paid, verified customers like schools, hospitals and businesses. 

“The CEO is looking at different arguments. The current plan is paid customers plus enterprise accounts where the company knows who they are,” Stamos said.