Zoom CEO Promises to Rememdy Security, Apologises for Falling ‘Short of Community’s Privacy and Security Expectations’

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan apologised on Thursday for security lapses that have been reported this week and outlined what the company is doing to fix those problems.

In a new press release, Yuan has apologised for the video calling app having “fallen short of the community’s privacy and security expectations” and has said the company is pausing feature updates to work on supporting a “much broader set of users who are utilizing our product in a myriad of unexpected ways.”

This includes the updating of the company’s privacy policy, releasing fixes for security flaws and the removal of Facebook integration in the iOS app that was collecting unnecessary information about users. There is also clarification around what is (and what isn’t) end-to-end encrypted.

In the past few weeks, security researchers have discovered a range of alarming vulnerabilities inside Zoom’s infrastructure. The California-based company was also found lying about its end-to-end encryption which meant its employees, if they so chose, could access your video meetings.

By way of background, he notes that Zoom was built primarily for enterprise customers who have their own full IT support, and that “thousands of enterprises” have done “exhaustive security reviews of our user, network, and data center layers and confidently selected Zoom for complete deployment.”

Zoom does however admit:

However, 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 socializing from home. We now have a much broader set of users who are utilizing our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges we did not anticipate when the platform was conceived.

Zoom says that consumer use cases have “helped us uncover unforeseen issues with our platform”, and that “dedicated journalists and security researchers have also helped to identify pre-existing ones.” It says it takes these issues “extremely seriously” and is looking into “each and every one of them as expeditiously as we can.”

The announcement comes as the number of daily Zoom users has skyrocketed to 200 million users in March, up from 10 million in December, as much of the world’s workforce moves to remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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