Since everyone seems to be spending more time at home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a surge in video calls have begun especially on one of the most prominent video call provider, Zoom. Since most people were advised to work at home, it is no surprise that the popular videoconferencing service has been doing much better than it previously had.
Just recently, the company has made it once again to the spotlight for their security protections and privacy promises! It was reported by the Motherboard that Zoom is leaking the personal email address of "at least a few thousands" of people because of these email addresses being treated as the property of the company.
Apple steps in to protect its users
It was reported that Zoom's video calls are actually not end-to-end encrypted despite claims from the company saying that they are. The damage has been quite bigger than expected.
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Jonathan Leitschuh (researcher) has stated that the web server meant that any malicious website could be able to activate the Mac webcam when the Zoom has been installed even without the user's permission. The researcher then declined a big payout which Zoom wanted to offer for a non-disclosure agreement.
A security researcher was able to find out that Zoom was using a sketchy technique for it to install its Mac app even without user interaction. This is the very same tricks that would be used by macOS malware according to the researcher.
Where was the data heading towards?
Zoom was secretly sending this data about their user's habits to Facebook even without those users having a Facebook account! As reported by the Motherboard, the iOS app was even notifying Facebook when the users would open the app, the device model, along with which phone carrier had opened the app, and even more information.
Zoom has removed the code in response but it was not fast enough for them to evade a class action lawsuit or even the New York's attorney general from launching a thorough investigation. Zoom got into even more heat for its "attendee tracker" feature which would enable the host to check out if the participants were clicking away from the main Zoom window when in a call.
What was Zoom's fault?
An article by TechCrunch has stated that Zoom is actually not inherently bad and that there are quite a few reasons why Zoom is popular being its easy-to-use settings as well as its reliability and convenience. The biggest problem is that Zoom has been providing misleading claims to provide a false sense of security and privacy to users.
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As emphasized by TechCrunch, whether the hosting contain a virtual happy hour, a yoga class, therapy, corporate or government cabinet meetings, TechCrunch still stresses out that everyone deserves privacy.
Final remarks of TechCrunch are to "Zoom at your own risk"