Zoom to roll out security update this weekend

Photo (c) Andrei Stanescu - Getty Images

Zoom 5.0 will include fixes for users’ privacy concerns

Video conferencing application Zoom says it will soon begin rolling out a security update to address the vulnerabilities that have cropped up in conjunction with the surge in use during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Users have complained of meeting interruptions known as “Zoombombing” and other issues on the platform. On Wednesday, the company said it would be launching an update known as Zoom 5.0 this weekend. The company said Zoom 5.0 will allow meeting hosts to report potential misuse of the service, among other improvements. 

“Hosts and co-hosts can report users to Zoom’s Trust & Safety team, who will review any potential misuse of the platform and take appropriate action,” the company said in its 90-Day Security Plan Progress report. “This feature will be found within the Security icon in the meeting controls.” 

Zoom 5.0 will also have enhanced encryption capabilities which will provide “more protection for meeting data and greater resistance to tampering,” the company said. 

Earning back users’ trust

At the end of March, the FBI released a statement warning Zoom users about Zoombombing and stressing that the offense is “punishable by fines and imprisonment.” The following week, New York City’s Department of Education asked NYC schools to stop using Zoom immediately in light of privacy concerns. 

“In the course of its credentialing process, the DOE has received various reports documenting issues that impact the security and privacy of the Zoom platform. Based on the DOE’s review of these documented concerns, the DOE will no longer permit the use of Zoom at this time," the Department said. 

Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan recently acknowledged users’ privacy concerns and outlined a number of steps Zoom would be taking to improve security. Yuan said the company’s latest actions to enhance security are “just the beginning.” 

"We will earn our customers' trust and deliver them happiness with our unwavering focus on providing the most secure platform,” he said. 

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