Zoom Video Users Soar to 200 Million as Privacy Concern Mounts

Zoom Video has seen its number of daily users soar to more than 200 million. The company's tech also is the subject of concern regarding user privacy.
Author:
Publish date:

Zoom Video Communications  (ZM) - Get Report daily users soared to more than 200 million in March from a previous maximum total of 10 million, according to a news report, but the videoconferencing company also is contending with privacy concerns and so-called Zoombombing.

Shares of the San Jose, Calif., company at last check were off 14% at $118.48.

"To put this growth in context, as of the end of December last year, the maximum number of daily meeting participants, both free and paid, conducted on Zoom was approximately 10 million," Founder and CEO Eric Yuan wrote in a letter to Zoom users on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

Yuan said Zoom usage has taken off over the past few weeks, with more than 90,000 schools across 20 countries using its videoconferencing services to conduct classes remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

J.P. Morgan Chase analyst Sterling Auty, who affirmed an overweight rating of the company, said Zoom has seen a serious uptake in usage and application downloads in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic forced tens of millions of U.S. workers to work from home.

Zoom's rapidly growing popularity has also sparked increased concern about privacy. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Boston office on Monday warned Zoom users not to make meetings on the site public or share links widely. The agency received two reports of unidentified individuals invading school sessions, a phenomenon known as zoombombing.

Zoom said it has addressed the issue and has illustrated how to keep what it calls "party crashers" from joining conferences.

Separately, Reuters reported that Elon Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, has banned its employees from using the Zoom videoconferencing app. The company cited "significant privacy and security concerns,” days after U.S. law enforcement warned users about the security of the popular app.

In addition, the New York attorney general's office has asked Zoom to show exactly how it protects its users' private information, including access to individual users' webcams and video chats. 

"We recognize that we have fallen short of the community's – and our own – privacy and security expectations," Yuan said. "For that, I am deeply sorry." 

He added, Reuters reported, that in the next three months the company would "better identify, address, and fix issues proactively."