What is end-to-end encryption and why should you care?
Quite simply put, end-to-end encryption (ETEI) turns our data into something that cannot be read. In practice, if you send a message to someone using a service that uses end-to-end encryption it means that no one, not even the service provider, can read your message excluding the recipient.
So why should you care?
End-to-end encryption isn't some far removed tech advancement. It has a direct impact on our ability to safely communicate online. It ensures that confidential information we share online remains that way and also makes sure that our messages aren't altered before they reach their intended destination.
Recently Zoom has announced that it would require customers to pay for end-to-end encryption. Whilst most of us hadn't heard of Zoom this time last year, I can safely bet that even if it's not your primary video conferencing tool you've used the service at least once since March.
The platform's stats back it up. 👉🏽 300 million Zoom meetings a day have happened during the pandemic!
The announcement has prompted a petition signed by thousands that states, that the “best-in-class security should not be something that only the wealthy or businesses can afford.”
Zoom's reason for taking this decision is so that it can work with law enforcement and governments to stop the platform from being used for illicit activity. For example, in conjunction with the Chinese government Zoom have shut down the premium account of a Tiananmen Square activist associated with the U.S. nonprofit Humanitarian China.
Is online security a legal right?
Zoom's announcement should prompt us all to question whether we have a legal right to safety online, regardless of how much we spend on a platform. Especially as the vast majority of us agree to tech platform terms and conditions without batting an eyelid.
Whilst many businesses will simply upgrade their accounts, it'll be interesting to see what the encryption implications are if paid accounts interact with free ones.
I'd suggest keeping an eye on this development especially if you use Zoom to communicate with clients.