June 17, 2020 / 5:17 PM / 15 days ago

Zoom to offer end-to-end encryption for all users, trial to begin in July

Small toy figures are seen in front of diplayed Zoom logo in this illustration taken March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) - Zoom Video Communications Inc will offer its free and paying users end-to-end encryption for video calls and launch a trial version in July, the video conferencing provider said on Wednesday.

The company said to help prevent abuse, it will only make the feature available to users who provide a verified phone number.

California-based Zoom had originally planned to strengthen encryption only for its paying clients.

The company has attracted millions of free and paying customers as the coronavirus outbreak forced more people to work from home, but has faced criticism over privacy and security issues.

Zoom also came under fire for failing to disclose that its service was not fully end-to-end encrypted.

Taiwan and Germany have placed restrictions on Zoom’s use, while Elon Musk’s SpaceX banned the app over security concerns. The company also faces a class-action lawsuit.

The company hired former chief security officer at Facebook Inc Alex Stamos in April to help bolster its security and rolled out some major upgrades.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Sriraj Kalluvila

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