We recently recommended that you use Jitsi instead of zoom for video conferences. We received queries that we would be happy to answer.

The main advantage of Jitsi is that it is an open source product. Everyone can therefore download it free of charge and install it on their own server. A good Linux admin can do this in under an hour. A Chrome browser is required on the participants’ PCs, and there are suitable apps for smartphones. There is therefore a whole range of public Jitsi servers, some of which are operated by companies, but also by associations or private individuals.

This overgrowth does not make the selection of a provider easier – that’s not the only reason why we recommend running your own instance. The Jitsi team recommends this even in critical areas until further notice. Like most other video conferences, Jitsi does not yet have full end-to-end encryption. The video data of the participants are decrypted on the server and re-encrypted for the other participants. It is therefore a good idea for companies to operate a server in-house. Since the data does not leave the company, there is no need to worry about complications such as order data processing and the like. This is a form of “data protection through technology design” according to Art. 25 GDPR.

Data protection also obliges companies to always use the most privacy-friendly option – and that is clearly the server in-house. The critical question with this solution: How quickly is your company connected to the Internet and how much server capacity is available in the house? This data can be used to estimate how many conferences can be held with how many participants. Conferences with ten participants should generally be feasible.

In our experience, this is the cheaper solution if only because a large part of the data protection check can be omitted.