As the country adjusts to remote work and education, the teleconferencing software Zoom has seen a tremendous surge in users and recognition. The company has gained millions of users and has seen its stock price rise as the rest of the market has plummeted.
But a bevy of security and privacy issues surrounding Zoom have emerged, which should have businesses, schools and average users reconsidering the use of the software.
Zoom has succeeded where other remote conferencing platforms have not, thanks largely to its ease of use and the number of users it can accommodate on a single video call — up to 100.
But that same ease of use has allowed bad actors — ranging from annoying troublemakers to virulent racists — to invade Zoom meetings to harass people trying to learn or conduct business. Hackers have also found Zoom to be an easy platform through which to spread malware and infect a large number of computers.
These security lapses have motivated several schools and companies throughout the country to prohibit the use of Zoom. Eric S. Yuan, Zoom’s CEO, has apologized for the problems and promised that the company will improve its security in the coming weeks.
But perhaps even more troublesome than fixable security flaws are the privacy intrusions that Zoom has already baked into its platform.
Zoom’s security and privacy issues are not anomalous in the tech world. In fact, they are alarmingly common. But whereas a company like Facebook is now subjected to much scrutiny for how it collects data, protects its users’ security and works with the government, Zoom has not yet been examined as carefully.
Until Zoom has been properly vetted and the company improves the software accordingly, companies and schools throughout the country should follow the lead of organizations like Tesla and the New York City Department of Education in finding alternatives for teleconferencing during the months ahead.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE