Zoom Video Probed For ‘Zoombombing’ And Other Privacy Issues

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Online virtual meet-up provider Zoom Video Communications  (ZM) - Get Report has been asked by the New York attorney general's office to show exactly how it protects its users' private information, including access to individual users' webcams and video chats.

Zoom, the proverbial lifeline millions have logged into to communicate face to face through the coronavirus pandemic and global lockdowns, on Monday received a letter from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James asking what new security measures the company has put in place, if any, to handle its recent surge in usage.

Zoom confirmed receipt of the letter, responding in a statement that it “…takes its users' privacy, security, and trust extremely seriously.”

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we are working around-the-clock to ensure that hospitals, universities, schools, and other businesses across the world can stay connected and operational," the company said.

"We appreciate the New York attorney general's engagement on these issues and are happy to provide her with the requested information," the company added.

Zoom has quickly become a verb amid the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown as users flock to its platform - not only for work and school but also for socializing and events.

However, that has prompted the New York AG’s office to look more closely into how Zoom is collecting data on its millions of users, and what the company is doing to protect that data - specifically against hackers or other malicious parties.

James also is concerned about the data privacy of children using the service. Her office has asked Zoom to send a copy of its privacy policy for obtaining and verifying consent in primary and secondary schools, and a description of third parties who received data related to children.

Of particular concern is a phenomenon known as "Zoombombing," in which individuals infiltrate online classes and share indecent images or worse. Zoom said it has addressed the issue and has illustrated how to keep what it calls "party crashers" from joining.

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