Nuevo Culture

Ops?: Popular Video Conferencing Tool Zoom Facing Privacy & Security Issues

Since the , people have found plenty of ways to interact with one another while practicing social distancing. One of those methods is a new video conferencing tool called Zoom, but since its rise in popularity, some privacy and security issues have arisen.

Zoom has become the goto app for video conferencing around the globe due to the . The app quickly rose to the top in both the iOS and Android App stores as users utilize the app for things like online yoga classes, virtual happy hours, and school lessons. The UK government uses Zoom to hold its daily cabinet meetings.

But with all of that popularity, there are now huge privacy and security concerns as the FBI, security experts, lawmakers, and sticklers for privacy point out the Zoom’s glaring issue being that its security settings are not that secure.

This isn’t the first time Zoom has faced security issues. Apple removed sneakingly removed the app from its store after a vulnerability allowed websites to take control of the MacBook cameras. The security issue that has everyone so spooked is that meetings are very easy to get into. Each Zoom call has a randomly generated ID number between 9 and 11 digits long that participants use to gain access to the meetings. Researchers have discovered the meeting IDs are very easy to find and susceptible to brute force attacks.

Bored pranksters are now participating “Zoombombing” basically popping up into meetings and broadcast or shock videos during the meetings. Zoom’s default settings allow for this happen because it does not suggest users to create a unique password for meetings and allows anyone to share their screens. To combat the issue for schools Zoom has adjusted the privacy settings for education accounts  “in an effort to increase security and privacy for meetings.”

Other eye-opening issues included Zoom having to update its iOS app to remove a code that would send device data to Facebook. User information was also being “leaked” due to an issue with how Zoom groups contacts. Zoom also had to revise its privacy parts of its policy because of the fact users were vulnerable to having their personal data used to target ads.

Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan has said the company is reviewing its practices when it comes to the Facebook privacy issues and issued this apology:

“We sincerely apologize for the concern this has caused and remain firmly committed to the protection of our users’ privacy. We are reviewing our process and protocols for implementing these features in the future to ensure this does not happen again.”

Well, Zoom has gotta do a lot more than that if they want people to continue to trust their app. The company is already facing lawsuits that claim its illegally disclosing personal information to third parties.

Photo: SOPA Images / Getty

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