Zoom Will Improve Security Against Accusations of Deception to Users
Zoom, the video conferencing platform, has become incredibly popular due to the coronavirus shutdown. According to the Federal Trade Commission, since at least 2016, the technology company said it offered a higher level of encryption for its meetings than it actually provided. Besides, it misled participants about the level of security to store meeting recordings.
During the pandemic, nearly everyone (families, schools, social groups, companies) began using videoconferencing to communicate. Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated that it makes the security of these platforms more critical than ever. Zoom’s security practices did not align with its promises.
Under the terms of the agreement with the FTC, Zoom has to take specific steps to address the problems in the agency’s complaint and review software updates for security flaws. This action will help ensure that Zoom meetings and data about Zoom users are protected.
As part of the agreement, Zoom will have to document and assess security risks every two years. Moreover, they will develop ways to manage them, implement more methods to protect against unauthorized network access, and take other steps.
Zoom said it has already implemented the security enhancements required by the agreement with the commission.
The company’s stock dropped massively on Monday
The stock slid to 18% early Monday on news that Pfizer Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective in a test. The company had increased six-fold this year as of Friday’s close. Meanwhile, its daily meeting participant count rose to 300 million from 10 million.
FTC officials said the Zoom investigation had been ongoing for more than a year. Although it underwent expansion in the spring, new allegations came to light. The agreement does not include a financial penalty against the company. Still, officials said in a conference call that the company would be subject to civil penalties if it misrepresents its products in the future.
Zoom hoped scrutiny of its security flaws was a thing of the past. The company instituted a 90-day security plan on April 1. During this time it froze the development of other features unrelated to user privacy and security. Zoom held weekly public meetings to discuss updates of its efforts, which were primarily focused on developing the end-to-end encryption it had long promised. It is the highest level of data privacy available, where no one, not even Zoom, can decrypt communications. The FTC claimed that pretending to have this form of encryption was one of Zoom’s biggest hoaxes. The company has also made it easy for hosts to exercise control over meetings by filtering.
Zoom has promised regular security updates.
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