Zoom CEO Publicly Apologizes for Platform’s Security Problems

Eric Yuan, Founder of Zoom. Sourced from Getty Images.

Zoom CEO, Eric Yuan apologized to users for the string of privacy and security allegations that have rocked the company in the last month. Yuan took to live-streaming the apology on YouTube, speaking to viewers for more than two hours. He assuaged users, telling that the company has been focused on updating its privacy and security defenses, pledging to take any future loopholes or exploits seriously.

“Clearly we have a lot of work to do to ensure the security of all these new consumer use cases,” Yuan says during the stream.

“But what I can promise you is that we take these issues very, very seriously. We’re looking into each and every one of them. If we find an issue, we’ll acknowledge it and we’ll fix it.”

Recently, Zoom has been scrambling to adapt to the massive influx of customers its been garnering since the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic began and billions began working from home. The company says that it focuses all efforts on combating past “missteps”.

Part of this new focus on includes a 90-day freeze on planned new features, allowing staff to work on addressing concerns with the current product solely. The company will also take steps to prevent “zoombombing” and other harassment on the service.

Yuan also specifically addressed a report from Citizen Lab published last week that revealed that encryption keys were being processed through a server in China even when all of the meetings’ participants were in another country. According to Yuan, this happened as a result of client applications attempting to contact a timing server – and it only happened in a “vanishingly” small amount of cases.

Still, the existence of such an exploit could be a major security vulnerability for the service and its users.

“To be clear, this should never have happened,” Yuan says, “and the issue was completely addressed last Friday.”

Zoom has begun bringing in help to manage its new security and privacy challenges. Former Facebook security chief, Alex Stamos, announced he would be collaborating with the company on its security work.

“In a time of global crisis, Zoom has become a critical link between co-workers, families, friends and, most importantly, between teachers and students,” Stamos writes in a blog post on Medium.

“[That] has created privacy, trust and safety challenges that no company has ever faced.”

Edited by Luis Monzon

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