End to End encryption for Teams calls begins to roll out

Kip Kniskern

Microsoft first announced that end to end encryption for one on one Teams calls was coming back at Ignite last March, and then released a public preview of the security feature in October. Now today, the company has announced that E2EE for Teams calls is generally available (via Mary Jo Foley). Once the update shows up as it rolls out, IT admins will be able to enable and control E2EE. There are some stipulations, as the encryption will not be automatic:

As a reminder, by default end-to-end encryption will not be available to all users within the tenant. Once IT has configured the policy and enabled it for selected users, those selected users will still need to turn on end-to-end encryption in their Teams settings. IT retains the ability to disable E2EE for one-to-one Teams calls as necessary.

When using E2EE for Teams one-to-one calls, certain features listed below will be unavailable. If these features are needed for a call, the user can go into their settings and turn end-to-end encryption off the same way it was turned on.

  • Recording
  • Live caption and transcription
  • Call transfer (blind, safe, and consult)
  • Call Park
  • Call Merge
  • Cal Companion and transfer to another device
  • Add participant to make the one-to-one call a group call

E2EE calls for Teams is generally available on the latest version of the Teams desktop client for Windows or Mac.

End to end encryption is “the encryption of information at its origin and decryption at its intended destination without the ability for intermediate nodes or parties to decrypt,” according to Microsoft, although as noted above, users will need to turn on E2EE to gain the protection once an IT admin has enabled it, but turn it off if features like recording or group calls are required.