Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, governments worldwide have mandated work from home for most people. As expected, this caused an increase in usage of video conferencing apps with Zoom being one of the well-known ones. However, the service has been plagued by a slew of issues since it came into the limelight. Now, Zoom has acquired Keybase, a cybersecurity company that offers secure messaging and file-sharing service, for developing solutions to make its platform more privacy-centric.
Zoom acquires Keybase: Here’s what it means
Zoom announced its acquisition of Keybase and stated that it’s integrating the latter’s team. This will enable Zoom to build end-to-end encryption that can “reach current Zoom scalability.” End-to-end encryption is used to securely encrypt data so that other than the sender and receiver, no one can decrypt and read it. This feature will be made available for paid Zoom accounts.
In addition to the new security measure, the video conferencing platform is also taking some steps to ensure privacy. These steps include working with users to enable better reporting mechanisms in meetings for hosts. The company also clarifies that it doesn’t and will not “proactively monitor meeting contents.” However, it will continue the use of automated tools to look for evidence of abusive users based upon other available data.
Zoom also adds that there’s no mechanism, nor there will be, to decrypt live meetings for lawful interception. Furthermore, the company doesn’t have any method to add its employees to meetings without it being reflected in the participant list. Zoom reassures that it will not build any cryptographic backdoors to allow secret monitoring of meetings.
“There are end-to-end encrypted communications platforms. There are communications platforms with easily deployable security. There are enterprise-scale communications platforms. We believe that no current platform offers all of these. This is what Zoom plans to build, giving our users security, ease of use, and scale, all at once,” says Eric S. Yuan, CEO of Zoom. “The first step is getting the right team together. Keybase brings deep encryption and security expertise to Zoom, and we’re thrilled to welcome Max and his team. Bringing on a cohesive group of security engineers like this significantly advances our 90-day plan to enhance our security efforts.”
Image credits: Zoom
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