End-to-end encryption definition
End-to-end encryption is a method of transmitting data where only the communicating parties can access the information. The data is encrypted on the sender’s device, transmitted in encrypted form, and then decrypted on the recipient’s device. This way, the data is protected from being intercepted or viewed by a third party, even the service provider that is transmitting the data. End-to-end encryption is used to secure communication on various platforms, including messaging apps and email.
Most commonly used encryption protocols
End-to-end encryption can be implemented using several encryption protocols, like Transport Layer Security, Pretty Good Privacy, Signal, or Double Ratchet Algorithm. Some are preferred in instant messaging apps, while others are more commonly used for emails.
Why do we need end-to-end encryption?
- Security and privacy: E2EE helps protect against data breaches, tampering, and eavesdropping, making it a secure means of communication when exchanging sensitive information.
- Compliance: E2EE may be required for certain industries to comply with privacy regulations, like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the US.
- Trust: E2EE helps build trust between the communicating parties by ensuring that the information transmitted is protected from unauthorized access and tampering.
See also: hashing, encryption, cryptography