Skip to Content
Computing

Zoom is facing questions about how private or secure it really is

Zoom has rapidly become the video-conferencing platform of choice as people stay home during the coronavirus pandemic. Now it’s under pressure.
Women on a Zoom call
Women on a Zoom call
Women on a Zoom callAssociated Press

The news: Video-conferencing platform Zoom claims it uses end-to-end encryption, but it is still able to access video and audio from meetings hosted on its app, The Intercept reported yesterday. On the same day, Vice revealed that Zoom is leaking thousands of users’ email addresses and photos, and letting strangers try to initiate calls with each other. That's because users with the same domain name in their email address are being grouped together as if they work for the same company. Zoom told Vice that it has now blacklisted these domains. 

Anything else? Um, yes. Zoom is also facing a class action lawsuit because users claim it did not obtain their proper consent before sharing some of their data with Facebook. On Monday, New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, wrote to the company asking what stepped-up security measures it will put in place to handle increased traffic and thus more attention from hackers. There’s also the widely reported problem of Zoombombing, where trolls intrude on open meetings (those without passwords) to hijack screen-sharing features. This prompted the FBI to issue a statement warning people to password-protect Zoom meetings. We contacted Zoom for comment but it had not responded by the time this was published. 

Why it matters: Zoom has rapidly become the video-conferencing platform of choice as people stay home during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s being used for everything from work video calls to workout sessions to social hangouts. It’s even been used to conduct official government business, and in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson inadvertently revealed the meeting ID for a cabinet meeting he was hosting yesterday. 

Deep Dive

Computing

child outside a destroyed residential building in Kiev
child outside a destroyed residential building in Kiev

Russia hacked an American satellite company one hour before the Ukraine invasion

The attack on Viasat showcases cyber’s emerging role in modern warfare.

hacked telecom concept
hacked telecom concept

Chinese hackers exploited years-old software flaws to break into telecom giants

A multi-year hacking campaign shows how dangerous old flaws can linger for years.

stock image of robots in a car plant
stock image of robots in a car plant

Transforming the automotive supply chain for the 21st century

Cloud-based tech solutions are helping manufacturers manage a new ecosystem of suppliers with greater agility and resilience.

inflection point post-NSO concept
inflection point post-NSO concept

The hacking industry faces the end of an era

But even if NSO Group is no more, there are plenty of rivals who will rush in to take its place. And the same old problems haven’t gone away.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.