End-to-end encryption in Zoom

The company Zoom has announced in



that end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for communications in the future will be introduced. These announcements were also reported in the press

   https://www.heise.de/news/Ende-zu-Ende-Verschluesselung-fuer-Zoom-Clients-ist-da-4940311.html  (in german)

Technical documentation

A white paper with technical details of the planned system and the phases of the implementation can be found at


The introduction of the E2EE proceeds in 4 phases, whereby Zoom has made the first phase available as a Technical Preview in October 2020. Thus, only a first step has been implemented so far, moreover, bugs and problems can always be expected with early versions. For details of the individual phases, please refer to the paper above.

Documentation for users can be found at

https://support.zoom.us/hc/de/articles/360048660871-End-to-End-Verschl%C3%BCsselung-E2EE-f%C3%BCr-Meetings (in German)

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360048660871-End-to-end-E2EE-encryption-for-meetings (in English)

Restrictions and missing functionalities when using E2EE in  Zoom

Apart from the fact that the concept has not yet been fully implemented in all phases (see the provider's whitepaper), there is also the fact that some features that are available in meetings with standard Zoom encryption are not supported when E2EE is activated (see the Zoom info for end users above):

  • No joining of a meeting before the moderator (host)
  • No breakout rooms
  • No live streaming
  • No live Transcription
  • No polls
  • No phone/SIP/H.323 dial-in

The following features are only available from version 5.5. of the clients with activated E2EE

  • Meeting reactions
  • Private one-on-one chats

These restrictions are sometimes serious, especially in the area of (large) courses, so that activation of E2EE in these areas is hardly an option at present.

There are also version requirements for clients to consider:

  • Desktop clients (Windows, macOS, Linux) must have at least version 5.4.0
  • Mobile apps (Android, IOS) must have at least version 5.4.0


Current state at Kiel University

Currently, the feature is also in a test phase at Kiel University. Zoom users at Kiel University can activate E2EE in their own meetings, but please note the restrictions mentioned above.

- Instructions for activation and use will be added here soon -

At the moment, both the final technical assessment as well as the data protection assessment of the function are still pending. As a result, the official standard remains that Zoom should not be used if sensitive personal data or other sensitive data is handled in meetings.