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Schools ban Zoom citing security and privacy concerns

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Zoom is being banned by schools across the United States following an increasing number of security and privacy issues reported by the app's users. 

The video conferencing app has seen a meteoric rise in the last couple of months, recording over 200 million users by the end of March compared to 10 million users at the end of last year. 

This has led Zoom to quickly become the preferred platform for schools and offices to conduct virtual meetings and classroom sessions, but many schools have now been asked to switch to Microsoft Teams after various incidents of classes and meetings getting hacked, or ‘Zoombombed’ with disruptive intrusions on video including racist remarks, aggressive language, pornographic content and even death threats.

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Security issues

As well as these well-publicised incidents, Zoom has also faced criticism after it was reported that the platform has been routing video calls through China, as well as offering no end-to-end encryption of calls despite saying it did so.

Last week Zoom CEO and founder Eric Yuan apologized to users for the privacy issues and promised that it will focus on addressing the concerns, however, it seems the damage has already done. 

The New York City’s Department of Education has now asked its schools to stop using Zoom as soon as possible, and instead start using alternative video conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Teams to conduct virtual classes. 

“Schools should move away from using Zoom as soon as possible," the official statement from the Department of Education said.

"We will support staff and students in transitioning to different platforms such as Microsoft Teams that have the same capabilities with appropriate security measures in place.”

With the Department of Education’s guidelines in place, schools are now training teachers on using Microsoft Teams, which it says complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and so is considered safe.

Via: WashingtonPost