Zoom has detailed plans to improve encryption for video calls made on its platform by paying customers and schools, but not for its free users.
The company’s security consultant Alex Stamos told Reuters that the plan is subject to change and that a combination of technological and safety factors were considered.
“At the same time that Zoom is trying to improve security, they are also significantly upgrading their trust and safety. 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.
It’s important to note that the improved encryption plans do not involve end-to-end encryption, which would mean that only the participants on the call can see and hear what’s happening. Stamos says that if Zoom added end-to-end encryption, then people wouldn’t be able to call into meetings through a phone line.
Stamos also notes that if Zoom added full encryption, then the service’s safety team would not be able enter meetings to tackle abuse in real time.
Zoom is currently being investigated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which is examining the company’s previous claims about encryption that were considered to be exaggerated or false.
The video conferencing service has gained millions of users around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly because people can join meetings without having to register.
In April, Zoom vowed to address and fix several issues that had come to the surface. The company promised to be more transparent with its practices, and said that its resources would now focus on safety and privacy issues.