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New York schools remove Zoom ban after security pledge

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The NYC Department of Education has once again allowed schools to use Zoom for conducting virtual online classes. 

This decision came in after the Zoom agreed to make a customized version of the app for schools in accordance with the federal and state privacy laws, having been banned in April over security concerns.

The updated version of the app though looks identical to the regular Zoom application; however, it will only allow login using credentials provided by the education department.

In a letter issued to families, the NYC Department of Education Chancellor Richard A. Carranza has stated that “The security of our students and staff is paramount, and we’ve worked with Zoom to create a tailored platform that provides the safety and functionality schools need to engage in remote learning.”

Zoom ban overturned

“Our new agreement with Zoom will give your children another way to connect with their schools, teachers and school staff. We are excited to be able to have another safe and secure option for school communities to use during this unprecedented time,” Carranza added, welcoming Zoom’s decision to make the requisite changes.

The customized version of Zoom will have additional features like barring students from inviting others from joining the meeting, only letting hosts share their screen and not allowinglet anyone re-join the meeting once they’re kicked out.

Ever since the Covid-19 led lockdowns came into force, schools have been forced to transition towards remote learning. That’s when Zoom, due to its easy to use interface, became one of the most favoured video conferencing platform. 

However, Zoom was banned in New York schools on April 3 due to various reports around security flaws such as Zoombombing, where interlopers were able to gatecrash remote classes and displayed indecent materials to participants.

To ensure that remote education is not interrupted, many schools opted for Zoom’s alternate tools like Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, so it will be interesting to see how many schools adopt Zoom again given the fact that the additional security measures are bound to impact the overall user experience. 

Via: Chalkbeat