In a statement by CEO Eric Yuan to Zoom users globally, video conferencing app Zoom has acknowledged that it has fallen short of adhering to necessary privacy and security standards.   Picture: Reuters/Phil Noble
In a statement by CEO Eric Yuan to Zoom users globally, video conferencing app Zoom has acknowledged that it has fallen short of adhering to necessary privacy and security standards. Picture: Reuters/Phil Noble

Zoom CEO says 'sorry' over safety and privacy issues

By Wesley Diphoko Time of article published Apr 2, 2020

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In a statement by CEO Eric Yuan to Zoom users globally, video conferencing app Zoom has acknowledged that it has fallen short of adhering to necessary privacy and security standards. 

“We recognise that we have fallen short of the community’s – and our own – privacy and security expectations. For that, I am deeply sorry, and I want to share what we are doing about it” said Yuan.

He elaborated that the platform was not designed for such a significant rise in and magnitude of users.

“We did not design the product with the foresight that, in a matter of weeks, every person in the world would suddenly be working, studying, and socialising from home. We now have a much broader set of users who are utilising our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges we did not anticipate when the platform was conceived.” 

Zoom’s recent growth has put it in the spotlight over a series of privacy and security issues. The platform has skyrocketed to 200 million daily users from 10 million in December 2019.

The challenges of supporting 200 million users compared to just 10 million a few months ago are significant enough, but the privacy and security issues that have been uncovered recently present greater challenges for the company. Zoom is now freezing its feature updates and focusing on its security and privacy issues instead. 

All of Zoom’s engineering resources will now be focused on safety and privacy issues, and the company is planning a “comprehensive review” with third-parties to ensure it’s handling the security of these new consumer cases properly.

The video conferencing platform was also called upon to release a transparency report to indicate the extent to which it’s access to data is requested by governments. The company is now committing to release a transparency report to share the number of requests from law enforcement and governments for user data.

This article was originally published on fastcompany.co.za.

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