Zoom boom…and bust?

Many businesses are using the Coronavirus lockdown to embrace digital transformation. Part of that has been the rapid deployment of video conferencing. Lockdown 10 years ago would have looked very different. But in 2020 it means a choice of clouds, a myriad of BYOD and endless video meetings.

With many workers unable to travel, the world and its dog has found video conferencing. Zoom went from 10m users to 200m almost overnight and its stock value rocketed. But with this Zoom boom came the security scares.

Before he spent a few nights in hospital with Covid-19, the UK Prime Minister shared a screenshot of a virtual cabinet meeting he was hosting on Zoom. Complete with meeting ID and user names, of course. It turned out Zoom meetings weren’t encrypted so those confidential meetings probably weren’t confidential. Private chats between users were visible to the host, including the snarky comments. If you didn’t switch on password-protection, uninvited guests could join and share porn — so-called Zoom Bombing. This prompted a backlash with government and business abandoning Zoom just as quickly as they found it.

Zoom’s CEO promised rapid security improvements. And that’s great. But why — in 2020, with the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act — is data protection still an afterthought? Why are some businesses still not building in privacy by design?

If you need advice, contact me f.jennings@teacherstern.com or +44 (0) 20 7611 2338.

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