The Zoom Video Communications logo is pictured at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York. File picture: Reuters/Carlo Allegri
The Zoom Video Communications logo is pictured at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York. File picture: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

Zoom gets captions, makes new end-to-end encryption feature available to users

By Bang Showbiz, IANS Time of article published Nov 3, 2020

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Zoom users can now see captions during their conference calls.

The video conferencing app has joined forces with AI transcription service Otter.ai to enable live captions during video calls.

Sam Liang, Otter.ai founder and CEO, said: “At a time when most meetings, events, and classes are going virtual, remote workers and students increasingly struggle to listen and pay attention while taking notes.

“Now more than ever, businesses and schools need tools that can capture information accurately and make it accessible immediately.”

The text will be shown with a delay of around two seconds and aims to help those with hearing problems keep up with the conversation.

The new feature is available on Pro and Business plans.

Zoom has also made its new end-to-end encryption (E2EE) feature available to users globally, free and paid, for meetings with up to 200 participants.

This optional feature is available immediately as a technical preview, meaning that the company is proactively soliciting feedback from users for the next 30 days, Zoom said on Monday.

"We're very proud to bring Zoom's new end-to-end encryption to Zoom users globally today," said Zoom Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Jason Lee.

"This has been a highly requested feature from our customers, and we're excited to make this a reality."

The highly sought security feature is available on Zoom desktop client version 5.4.0 for Mac and PC, the Zoom Android app, and Zoom Rooms, with the Zoom iOS app pending Apple App Store approval.

When users enable E2EE for their meetings, nobody except each participant -- not even Zoom's meeting servers -- has access to the encryption keys that are used to encrypt the meeting, the US-based company said.

Account admins can enable this feature in their web dashboard at the account, group, and user level.

It can also be locked at the account or group level. If enabled, the host can toggle on and off end-to-end encryption for any given meeting depending on the level of security and level of functionality they would like.

In phase one, meeting participants must join from the Zoom desktop client, mobile app, or Zoom Rooms for end-to-end encryption-enabled meetings.

Zoom first announced its plans to build an end-to-end-encrypted meeting option into its platform in May.

The US-based company had said that since releasing the draft design of the platform's end-to-end encryption on May 22, it has engaged with civil liberties organisations, child safety advocates, encryption experts, government representatives, its own users, and others to gather their feedback on this feature.

Zoom was earlier sued by one of its shareholders who alleged in the complaint that the platform failed to disclose some vulnerabilities and that the services did not provide end-to-end encryption.

As a technical preview, Zoom hopes to gather input from customers on their experiences with end-to-end encryption.

IANS and BANG ShowBiz Tech

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