Zoom's Explosion in Popularity Revealed a Host of Privacy Issues

Joseph Cox tells Ben Makuch all about Zoom and its security flaws on this week’s CYBER.
April 3, 2020, 12:00pm

In this time of global pandemic and social isolation, there are a lot of new normals being introduced to us all. But even though we’re all holed up in our apartments, some things never change: the need to see, hear and interact with our friends and family. Which is why people are FaceTiming and setting up Google Hangouts in record numbers.

One app seems to be coming out on top as the choice video conferencing platform of all: Zoom. The app has exploded in popularity, going from its peak of 10 million users a day in December of last year, to 200 million during the pandemic.

But the app has come under a storm of criticism after several flaws in its security were laid bare in recent weeks, forcing the company to freeze all product development until security issues with its software were improved. Zoom CEO Eric Yuan then issued a public apology admitting the company has, “fallen short of the community’s—and our own—privacy and security expectations.”

While its services have allowed many to have chaotic Zoom parties fit with funky backgrounds and twelve friends screaming overtop of each other, as Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox has reported and explained to CYBER in this week’s episode—the app has a host of privacy issues.