New York, US, May 7 (Eefe-epa).- Zoom Video Communications has agreed to improve the security and privacy of more than 200 million users, according to an agreement announced on Thursday by New York’s attorney general, after problems arose as it soared in popularity during pandemic lockdowns around the world.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the agreement in a statement that mentions implementation of new security measures, “to support and protect consumers, students, schools, governments, religious institutions, and private companies using the application for work, education, prayer, and socializing.”
“After the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), cities and states across the nation began quarantine and social distancing procedures that forced businesses and schools, as well as many social interactions to be moved online,” James said. “Zoom had a sudden surge in both the volume and sensitivity of data being passed through its network, but the exponential increase in users also exposed security flaws and vulnerabilities in Zoom’s platform and software, and a lack of privacy protections.”
Some people reported that their Zoom conferences had been interrupted – or “Zoombombed” – by uninvited participants and therefore James opened an investigation into the privacy and security practices of the platform in March. This probe culminated in Thursday’s agreement, the attorney general said
“Our lives have inexorably changed over the past two months, and while Zoom has provided an invaluable service, it unacceptably did so without critical security protections,” James said..
She added that “this agreement puts protections in place so that Zoom users have control over their privacy and security, and so that workplaces, schools, religious institutions, and consumers don’t have to worry while participating in a video call.”
“As the coronavirus continues to spread across New York State and this nation and we come more accustomed to our new normal, my office will continue to do everything in its power to help our state’s residents and give them every tool to continue living their lives,” James added.
In late April, Zoom carried approximately 300 million conferences every day on its platform as compared to nearly 10 million meetings recorded in January 2020. This showed an increase of nearly 3,000 percent in under four months.
As more clients, companies and students began using the platform to share information and communicate online, a series of problems surfaced that brought about doubt over user privacy and security.
“Today’s agreement will protect New Yorkers and users nationwide by ensuring Zoom’s compliance with New York State and federal laws; and will ensure Zoom provides services that are more secure, that provide users with enhanced privacy controls, and that protect users from abuse,” James said in the statement. EFE-EPA