Why would you want end-to-end encryption of your messages and video calls? That prevents your messaging platform provider, malicious actors, hostile governments (Meta started with accounts in Ukraine and Russia), law enforcement, or anyone from accessing the content of your messages. It can also help businesses comply with data privacy requirements.
Why wouldn’t you want it? Many features in video calling platforms are managed through Google’s or Zoom’s or Microsoft’s servers, so aren’t available in end-to-end encrypted calls. And it can be technically confusing.
The Google Duo
app icon and name are updating to Google Meet.
The original Google Meet app should now be green and labeled Meet (original). The Duo app won’t change until you launch it, read the notice, and say you “Got It”. Note that no Duo features are going away, and you’ll be able to access both Duo-type video calls and Meet meetings in the one mobile app.
One great feature: 1:1 and group video calling Duo
-style, rather than meetings, are automatically end-to-end encrypted
. This is on by default and prevents Google from viewing, hearing, or saving the video and audio of your call. Meet
meetings use cloud encryption, with the data encrypted in transit between your device and Google’s servers (but read on about client-side encryption).
Some Google Workspace customers will be able to use client-side encryption with Google Meet.
This prevents Google from being able to access your video (including screen sharing) and audio under any circumstances. The tradeoff is that some features won’t work in client-side encrypted meetings
: recording to Google Drive, live streaming, using a phone for audio, in-meeting chat, polls, whiteboarding, meeting room hardware and mobile apps, and inviting participants outside your organization.
Meanwhile Meta is expanding end-to-end encryption
to more conversations and video calls in Facebook Messenger
DMs. They are also adding features like secure storage to backup your end-to-end encrypted conversations and more.
For chatting, Apple’s iMessages
(if not backed up to iCloud) and Android Messages RCS chat
are end-to-end encrypted, but SMS text messaging is not. And WhatsApp and Signal have end-to-end encryption for chats, voice and video calls.
It’s becoming the standard, which I think is (mostly) a good thing.