Zoom boss says it ‘will not stop' focus on security improvements

Eric Yuan said the video app had improved as a platform as he marked the end of its 90-day programme

Zoom boss Eric Yuan has said the video calling app “will not stop” looking to improve its security features as it marked the end of a 90-day push to improve user safety.

The video conferencing app announced on April 1 it was freezing all other product development for 90 days in order to focus on privacy and security.

That came after a range of security concerns were raised about the app, which had experienced a huge rise in user numbers as lockdown measures were introduced around the world – numbers the company has admitted it struggled to handle.

Since then the company has announced a number of new features, including the development of end-to-end encryption for all free and paid users and a redesigned and enhanced security menu to give users more control over privacy features in the app.

In a blog post, Mr Yuan said Zoom had used the scheme to refocus the company on commitments that “embedded security and privacy permanently into Zoom’s DNA”.

“During the first few months of 2020, the Zoom team worked around the clock to support the tremendous influx of new and different types of users on our platform,” he said.

“The sudden and increased demand on our systems was unlike anything most companies have ever experienced.

“As March came to a close, we realised that our singular mission to deliver frictionless video communications to hundreds of millions of daily meeting participants needed to include an equivalent focus on security and privacy – areas where we needed to do more.”

Zoom had been the subject of a number of privacy concerns which had led to many businesses, schools and other organisations opting to ban the platform from use.

The most notable issue was the phenomenon of ‘Zoombombing’, where strangers were able to gain access to a video call and abuse other participants, often by displaying offensive images and video.

Zoom has since launched new safety features specifically targeting Zoombombing, including new call hosting controls and default meeting rooms where participants must be approved before they can enter a call.

Mr Yuan said going forward, the app would put mechanisms in place to ensure that security and privacy remain a priority in each phase of the company’s product and feature development.

“This period has brought about meaningful change at our company and made the safety, privacy, and security of our platform central to all we do, as we strive to be worthy of the trust customers place in us,” he said.

“I am proud of, and humbled by, the role Zoom has played in connecting the world in crisis, and in all that our team has accomplished in the past 90 days to better secure our platform.

“But we cannot and will not stop here. Privacy and security are ongoing priorities for Zoom, and this 90-day period – while fruitful – was just a first step.”

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