LOS ANGELES, Calif.–With millions of people entering the digital world of working remotely, Zoom has become a household name. Its original purpose was for businesses to host virtual meetings and webinars. 

In March 2020 however, many businesses and schools closed down due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which resulted in a surge in Zoom downloads. 

Eric Yuan, founder of Zoom stated that over the course of March, Zoom was seeing 200 million daily meeting participants. Zoom is now being used worldwide for basic amenities such as yoga classes, education, gym sessions, and people to contact friends and relatives who are quarantining in other parts of the country and world. 

As the company grows, so does the concern for cybersecurity. Companies such as Google and SpaceX have prohibited the usage of Zoom on company computers as a precaution to avoid data being leaked. 

SpaceX sent an email out to all employees on March 28 that effective immediately, Zoom would no longer be used. 

Google has also followed suit by blocking Zoom on all company servers. An investigation led by Motherboard uncovered Zoom’s iOS platform sent data and information to Facebook. 

Zoom’s app policy was not explicitly clear about information shared with Facebook. Zoom has taken action to remove Facebook SDK in its iOS client and have reconfigured it to prevent it from collecting unnecessary device information from users. 

Following this, Zoom published a blog post on March 29 and stated: “We updated our privacy policy to be more clear and transparent around what data we collect and how it is used – explicitly clarifying that we do not sell our users’ data, we have never sold user data in the past, and have no intention of selling users’ data going forward.”

Financial institutions have also been wary of using Zoom to conduct business. A representative from Bank of America stated the company was already on the fence about using Zoom as a platform to conduct virtual meetings. 

The backlash from SpaceX and Google encouraged Bank of America to also ban Zoom. 

“We reach out to customers through phone, email, or text messages. Third-party apps are not allowed as it is a security concern,” a Bank of America representative told Scriberr News.  

Employees are encouraged to use its own internal system to host meetings.

On April 1, Yuan acknowledged and apologized for the confusion regarding the privacy policy. Yuan also stated that the company will enhance its bug bounty program, and conduct a comprehensive review with third-party experts. 

“I am committed to being open and honest with you about areas where we are strengthening our platform and areas where users can take steps of their own to best use and protect themselves on the platform,” said Yuan.

Written ByNicolay Salazar

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