With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world, people are forced to remain indoors to respect the social distancing aspect. And this was the time when Zoom, the video chat app company, rose to fame and popularity as it gave ample scope of entertainment for its users. However, this popularity was short-lived for Zoom as it faced backlash owing to some privacy and security issues. Unfortunately, in a very short span of time, Zoom has disappointed its users, especially after gaining huge fame.
What were the issues that cropped up in Zoom?
The initial concern was regarding the Zoombombings. In which trolls are able to interrupt an ongoing call session and share porn stuff. Although this problem can be fixed temporarily, Zoombombings is still an issue. Presently, the FBI, as well as the New York attorney general office, are looking into this menace. The main problem here is that any caller within a call session is able to share his screen and Zoom does not block this. It is difficult to update the settings to prevent this issue occurrence.
The next problem was that Zoom started creating directories of each and every email address that was a part of a call. Now due to this, people started receiving video calls from strangers and unknown people. At this juncture, many Zoom users complained that Zoom combined their details with those of unknown people, and as a result, personal details of many users were revealed to unwanted people.
The third issue is that Zoom has been telling people that its entire platform is encrypted from one end to the other. In fact, it had actually redefined “end-to-end encryption” without anyone’s knowledge. In reality, the service never supports end-to-end encryption for audio and video-related content. Two journalists explained this entire situation in “The Intercept” (a news site).
Apart from the ones stated above, there are a few other issues with Zoom. For instance, Zoom does not require, and macOS administrator controls for installation. It means it can be installed without any permission. Zoom also allows the sharing of hyperlinks, which implies that a person’s Windows credentials could get leaked on the platform. However, this seems more like a Windows issue rather than a Zoom issue.
When Zoom’s Chief Marketing Officer Janine Pelosi was quizzed about the issues reported above, he simply stated that “The product wasn’t designed for consumers, but a whole lot of consumers are using it.”Source
Now, owing to this reason, Zoom needs to work a lot on its default privacy settings. In short, it needs to prepare an app that is fit for the consumer.
In the olden days, the tools which people needed at work were provided to them at their respective workplaces. It included the PC, along with all the software that was necessary for working.
Then came the mobile phone era during which people could install and use whichever software they liked. Tools like Google Docs, Dropbox, and Evernote came into existence, followed by Trello, Asana, and Slack a few years later. All these tools were exclusively built for consumers. Hence they became quite popular.
Zoom has been following all practices such that it becomes a consumer-friendly app. For instance, it can be installed on Mac without any admin permissions. In order to help consumers, it allows people to log in with Facebook, due to which it got into trouble.
The Zoom platform undoubtedly needs to be consumer-friendly. However, at the same time, the security factors cannot be risked upon. These things definitely need to be worked upon. After all, these are the main features that people look out for, like Zoom’s chief marketing officer stated that the Zoom platform was never built for consumers. On the contrary, it was indeed built for consumers only.
It would definitely take some time for the firm to understand how the world functions and then act accordingly. Let us hope this happens at the earliest.