While Microsoft is surely one of the profiteers in audio- and videoconferencing needs throughout the pandemic, Microsoft Teams evolved in lockstep, connecting people where social distancing caused new borders.
Indeed there is always space for improvement and in March 2021 Microsoft already announced that End-to-End-Encryption (E2EE) will be available for business customers in the first half of this year on a preview-basis. Now, starting next month, Teams is finally getting its better security with the addition of the long-awaited feature in 1:1 voice calls.
While Microsoft Teams is already encrypting data at rest and in transit, it allows people with the proper permission set on an administrative basis to automatically record and transcript video calls. Focusing on that use case, there may be sensible information that should remain between to participant is not suitable for recording.
As sources tell, Microsoft has now finished working on the desired feature of E2EE and will be start its rollout in early July with the intention of finishing this process by the end of next month. “Teams will support an option to use end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for ad hoc 1:1 Teams VoIP calls, providing an additional option for conducting sensitive online conversations,” Microsoft revealed this week in the Microsoft 365 roadmap.
To support existing customer security and compliance requirements, IT-departments will have full control of who can use E2EE in the specific organization. Microsoft Team’s backend will get a new policy added and it will have a specific parameter to enable E2EE for 1:1 calls. By default it will be disabled, allowing admins to have full control of the roll-out of this feature in their organization. The new feature can be enabled for the whole organization or just a subset of users, according the the individual needs.
Once End-to-End-Encryption is enabled, users will see the option in their Privacy-settings in Microsoft Teams. By default, it will be disabled and can be switched on by the end user. The feature will only support basic calling features like audio-calls, video-sessions, screen sharing and chats while advanced features like call escalation, file transfer, recording of calls etc. will not be available according to Microsoft.
Finally, E2EE will only work when both clients have E2EE enabled, putting the Desktop and mobile-Clients in the focus while the feature won’t be available for the Web.