The video conferencing platform has removed its active monitoring feature and a clause allowing the possibility for the company to share user data with third parties.
Apr 2, 2020
In addition to the new policy, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan announced a 90-day freeze on adding new features to the platform on April 2 so that Zoom employees could focus on improving security and privacy protocols. During this time, according to Yuan, the company will focus on a comprehensive review with third-party experts regarding the security of their service, preparing a transparency report for user’s data requests, as well as enhancing their bug bounty program — an initiative in which individuals are rewarded for reporting security bugs.
Zoom previously updated its iOS app on March 27 to eliminate a code which shared users’ data with Facebook — one day after Motherboard found that Zoom was sending data to Facebook regardless of whether or not the user had a Facebook account.
Prior to the updates, some users were concerned because call hosts on Zoom were able to view the activities of call participants. The internet privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation released a report warning of the privacy implications of Zoom – such as giving hosts the ability to monitor the activities of attendees while screen-sharing and giving a notification to the host after 30 seconds if a participant doesn’t have the Zoom window active. On April 1, Zoom permanently removed its attendee tracking feature.
NYU sought to discontinue the attendee tracking feature for students before it was taken off Zoom, but planned to continue using the feature for mandatory staff training.
“We plan to disable the option for most schools, but we are still checking to make sure that disabling it will not break anything else,” NYU spokesperson John Beckman told WSN in a statement before Zoom eliminated the feature.
Email Matthew Fischetti at [email protected]