Microsoft has started rolling out end-to-end encryption for video calls in Microsoft Teams. It concerns one-on-one conversations via the business chat service. Microsoft reports this in a blog on Tuesday.
How end-to-end encryption works Microsoft Teams
End-to-end encryption encrypts conversations in a certain way, leaving only the sender and receiver with access. This extra layer of encryption increases user privacy. In addition, encryption protects against certain forms of cybercrime, such as man-in-the-middle attacks.
Even Microsoft itself cannot retrieve the content of the encrypted conversation. The feature can only be activated during one-on-one conversations between users.
Microsoft makes the end-to-end encryption (for now) only available to so-called Enterprise customers. This is a special subscription that mainly large companies use. After the update has been performed, the administrator within an organization must activate end-to-end encryption.
This administrator can set the encryption for certain users. Then the users have to enable the end-to-end encryption in their own settings. The administrator has the option to disable the one-to-one video calling feature.
The use of end-to-end encryption means that certain options are not available. When encryption is enabled, users will not be able to record or add live captions and transcription. It is also not possible to transfer, merge and ‘park’ calls. In addition, a call cannot be transferred to another device, and it is impossible to add other participants when end-to-end encryption is enabled.
Microsoft announced the arrival of end-to-end encryption for Teams earlier this year. Research among international customers showed that business users would like to see this form of encryption implemented in one-to-one video calls.
Other services preceded Microsoft
Microsoft Teams isn’t the only service to make end-to-end encryption available to users. Last year, Zoom offered the form of encryption for video calls. At Zoom, the feature can be used by both free subscribers and paying customers.
Meta recently decided to postpone the default encryption of messages with end-to-end encryption within Facebook Messenger and Instagram. Encryption is already possible, but the option is not enabled by default. Due to concerns about user security, Meta chose not to make the option available until 2023.
The company’s intention to encrypt messages with end-to-end encryption by default drew much criticism from governments and child protection organizations, among others. They fear that criminal activities can be detected less quickly, for example, because police services can no longer intercept messages. By postponing the standard end-to-end encryption, Meta wants to have more time to find “the right balance” between privacy and security.
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