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Learn about call & meeting encryption in Google Meet

When communicating in Google Meet, you can use either:

To make sure your data is safe, Google Meet uses several encryption methods. For 1:1 and group calling where you directly ring a person, end-to-end encryption is used to mask data with a code that only you and the other callers have access to. For meetings and Meet calls in Google Meet, your information is encrypted in transit and at rest in Google's data centers. Organizations can also use client-side encryption to have full control of their encryption keys to add an additional layer of protection. Learn more about client-side encryption.

Learn how end-to-end encrypted Meet Legacy Calls (previously known as Duo) work

End-to-end encryption:

  • Is a standard security method that protects communications data. 
  • Is built into every 1:1 and group Meet Legacy Calls (previously known as Duo). It’s on by default and can’t be turned off. 
  • Only lets people in a call know what’s said or shown.
  • Doesn’t allow Google to view, hear, or save the audio and video from your call.

For 1:1 and group Meet Legacy Calls (previously known as Duo), end-to-end encryption means that a call’s data (its audio and video) is encrypted from your device to your contact’s device. The encrypted audio and video can only be decoded with a shared secret key.

The key:

  • Is a number created on your device and the device you call. It exists only on those devices.
  • Disappears when the call ends.
  • Isn’t shared with:
    • Google 
    • Other users
    • Other devices

Even if someone gains access to the call data, they can’t understand it without the key.

How we protect your data in 1:1 calls

Shared secret keys stay on the callers’ devices

Your device decrypts your call’s audio and video with a shared secret key. This key is created on your device and your contact’s device and is deleted after the call ends. It’s not shared with any server.

What’s needed for a shared key

To calculate the shared key, each device needs:

  • A private key, which is saved only on your device
  • A public key, which is saved on Duo’s servers

The first time you set up or link your calling account in Meet, your device creates several private/public key pairs. This way, you’re ready for several end-to-end encrypted calls.

How shared secret keys are created

  • The devices exchange their public keys but don’t reveal their private keys.
  • Next, each device uses its private key and the public key from the other device to calculate the shared secret key. They use a mathematical process called cryptography.

Google servers can’t decode your call

When you call someone else on Duo, your call’s audio and video typically go directly from your device to their device. This connection is called peer-to-peer. The call doesn’t go through a Google server.

However, sometimes a peer-to-peer connection isn't available, like if a network setting blocks it. In this case, a Google relay server passes a call’s audio and video between your device and the device you called. The server can’t decode your call because it doesn’t have the shared secret key.

How we protect your data in group calls

Group calls stay private on the server

Group calls are also end-to-end encrypted. To make sure group calls are high-quality, they go through a Google server.

That server routes everyone’s call audio and video to others in the group. To route calls, the server uses info about your call, like which device the video is from. The server doesn't have access to the end-to-end encryption keys and can't decrypt the media.

Group calls use multiple keys

To be part of a call that goes through a server, each group member’s device automatically uses:

  • A sender key to encrypt the call’s audio and video. When someone starts a group call, each device exchanges this key with the other devices.
  • A client-to-server key to encrypt info about the call. Each device exchanges this key with the server.

What the keys do

The keys work to:

  • Encrypt your call’s audio and video so that only other people in the group can hear and see it.
  • Decode the audio, video, and info from other people in the group call.

Keys can change during group calls

Everyone’s devices exchange new sender keys if either:

  • Someone leaves a group.
  • A person who wasn’t part of the group gets added to it during the call.

If a person in the group doesn’t immediately join the group call, their device can still use everyone’s sender keys. This way, that person can join the call anytime while it’s live.

When the group call ends, the keys are deleted.

Learn more in Duo's end-to-end encryption technical paper.

To help fix problems, Google Meet, uses some info about your Meet Legacy Calls (previously known as Duo), like:

  • Why and when a call is dropped or delayed
  • The device IDs of the caller and receiver
  • Phone numbers of people in a group call

This info is securely stored for about a month on Google servers.

Learn how cloud-encrypted meetings work

To help ensure data security and privacy, Google Meet supports these cloud-encryption measures for meetings and Meet calls:

  • By default, meeting and Meet calls data is encrypted in transit between the client and Google data centers for meetings taking place in Google Meet.
  • By default, meeting and Meet calls recordings stored in Google Drive are encrypted at rest.
  • Meeting and Meet calls encryption adheres to:
    • Internet Engineering Task Force security standards for Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS)
    • Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP)

Learn more about DTLS and SRTP.

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