Zoom Privacy Concerns Come to Light Amid Pandemic

As the pandemic continues to take over the world, teleconferencing company Zoom has seen a boost in usage. In light of this, numerous individuals and an advocacy group call for the company to provide transparency over their privacy issues.

According to The Verge, Access Now, digital rights advocacy group, penned an open letter to Zoom as the firm’s software continued to boost user rating in light of the pandemic. The advocacy group urged the teleconferencing firm to provide the public with a transparency report regarding their privacy outline.

In a statement, Access Now said, “Given Zoom’s increasing role and user base, it is imperative that you issue a regular transparency report. According to your website, you are the “leader in modern enterprise video communications, …This trend is likely to continue as more people rely on video conferencing services to carry on in their work and lives.”

Zoom Privacy Concerns

Because of the growing patronage of Zoom, the digital rights advocacy group recognizes that the teleconferencing firm may be a target for third-party providers. These include hackers, attackers, and even law enforcement agencies. As such, Access Now states that Zoom should shed light on its privacy policies and procedures and its commitment to protecting its users.

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Writers of the open letter from Access Now, Isedua Oribhabor and Peter Micek state that regular reporting allows firms to remain accountable for their actions. Moreover, it allows users to gauge what threatens their privacy and freedom of expression, notes the New York Post.

The call towards transparency comes as numerous policies on the software remain unclear. For one, although Zoom clarified that it is not selling users’ personal data, it admits that it is still working with third parties. Mashable states the disclosure of these details is imperative as most people might consider these activities as ‘selling.’

In July of 2019, the company previously experienced a zero-day vulnerability. The Verge reports the flaw resulted in websites gaining the ability to access and enter any video-enabled call. In January of 2020, another vulnerability resurfaced, particularly concerning the ability of hackers to listen and drop-in on calls.

Other privacy concerns that Mashable has pointed out include the ability for employers to monitor employees’ computers and track activity, as well as person-to-person chat messages being obtained by the employer.

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Numerous sites have reached out to Zoom. However, the teleconferencing firm has yet to issue a statement. However, the company acknowledged the requests for statements and said it “appreciate[s] them reaching out on this very important topic.”

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