is-zoom-safe

Is Zoom Safe? Sued for Sharing Data with Facebook

The popular video-conferencing application, Zoom, is facing a class-action lawsuit by a user. The application is accused of failing to properly safeguard user data and share it with third parties, including Facebook.

The Zoom app has seen a dramatic rise in usage due to COVID-19, where companies, schools, and other institutions have resorted to working from home.

The suit alleges:

“Upon installing or upon each opening of the Zoom App, Zoom collects the personal information of its users and discloses, without adequate notice or authorization, this personal information to third parties, including Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”), invading the privacy of millions of users.”

Just last week, a report was published, which revealed that Zoom’s app on iOS sends analytics to Facebook even for users who don’t have a Facebook account. While it’s not unusual for app developers to offer Facebook login functionality, the real problem is that Zoom did not openly declare its privacy policy, whereby logging in to its platform, your data would be sent to Facebook.

Zoom Bombing on the Rise

During the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, members in the meeting heard a man’s voice yelling misogynistic and anti-Semitic words, including insensitive remarks to drinking.

This digital break-in tactic is known as “Zoom bombing,” where trolls browse the web for links to video conferences and then join the meeting to harass the members.

A Zoom spokesperson issued the statement:

“For those hosting large, public group meetings, we strongly encourage hosts to review their settings and confirm that only the host can share their screen. For those hosting private meetings, password protections are on by default and we recommend that users keep those protections on to prevent uninvited users from joining.”

Is Zoom Safe?

The FBI is warning people that your meetings could be interrupted by pornography and hate speech. Imagine that during a virtual family reunion where each member of the house is scattered in multiple parts of the world due to quarantine measures.

Zoom’s popularity has escalated as not only do you not have to buy the app; you don’t have to download it either. Once you’re in a zoom meeting, members should know that if you’re not using screen controls or passwords, you’re inviting hackers to infiltrate your meeting.

According to the FBI, users who use Zoom or any other video-conferencing platform should take precautionary measures:

  • Require a meeting password
  • Use the waiting room feature to control the admittance of guests
  • Provide the link directly to specific participants and not on social media

If you’ve been a victim of Zoom bombing, the FBI urges cyber conference users to report hackers or any threats be reporting it to crime complaint center on its website.

Zoom replied in a statement:

“We are deeply upset to hear about the incidents involving this type of attack. We take the security of Zoom meetings seriously and in order to prevent such incidents from occurring, we strongly encourage users to arrange their settings so that only hosts can share their screens.”

As with any application that requires an internet connection, the best way to secure your online activities from hackers and cybercriminals is by encrypting your online connection. Use state-of-the-art AES 256-bit encryption when you’re online.

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Ather Owais Ather Owais is a tech and cybersecurity enthusiast. He is a strong advocate for online privacy and security, following technological trends and their impact on today's digital era.

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