Earlier this month, Zoom made it clear that users on the free/basic tier won’t get the security provided by end-to-end encryption, and kept it reserved for paid accounts and enterprise customers. Zoom has now done a U-turn and has announced that end-to-end encryption will be available for all users – free and paid.
Zoom will begin beta testing for the feature starting next month. However, end-to-end encryption will be an optional feature and must be enabled manually, since it restricts certain functionalities Meeting hosts can activate or deactivate it on a per meeting basis, while admins can do so at account and group level.
And to make sure that the layer of security provided by end-to-end encryption is not abused, Zoom will require users to first verify their identity with information such as their phone number. Zoom is not alien to such abusive usage (remember Zoombombing?), but phone number verification will introduce a traceability aspect that will likely keep bad actors at bay.