Google bans its employees from using Zoom amidst its recent security issues

Ever since Zoom became the most popular app for video conferencing over the Internet, it has been the center of tech news for its numerous security flaws, such as hackers finding bugs in its macOS app which puts webcams at risk.

Last July, Zoom faced security backlash when a Zoom app flaw allowed root access to MacBook webcams.  A few weeks ago, an automated tool came to light which was able to find around 100 Zoom meeting IDs in an hour. Such alarming news raised hundred of questions concerning privacy in the minds of users worldwide, including tech giants which utilized the platform to maintain social distancing while working from home.

Earlier on Wednesday, Google issued a ban on using Zoom for video conferencing. Zoom is considered a competitor to Google’s own Meet app. Last week, an email was sent to Google employees, who had the Zoom app installed, that cited its security vulnerabilities. It warned that the videoconferencing software is set to stop working on their phones and laptops from this week onwards.

A Google spokesperson stated to Buzzfeed News:

We have long had a policy of not allowing employees to use unapproved apps for work that are outside of our corporate network. Recently, our security team informed employees using Zoom Desktop Client that it will no longer run on corporate computers as it does not meet our security standards for apps used by our employees. Employees who have been using Zoom to stay in touch with family and friends can continue to do so through a web browser or via mobile.

These recent problems in Zoom’s security have led to other issues being magnified as well. “Zoombombing” is a practice of strangers jumping into random calls. The FBI has also issued a statement in which it claims that they will prosecute people who practice “zoombombing” random user’s calls. Part of the reason is because Zoom had not been designed for consumer use at this scale. The company said earlier this month that it grew from 10 million to 200 million users in the past three months.

Other issues such as exposed Zoom recordings, data sharing with Facebook, and exposure of LinkedIn profiles had been reported as well. Zoom is now facing competition as users are now opting to use other apps for their video conferencing needs. The company is now facing a full-blown privacy and security backlash. Zoom has paused its updates and is focusing on its privacy and security for 90-days. For starters, it has enabled virtual waiting rooms and meeting passwords by default for all users.

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