The number of users on Zoom’s video conferencing platform surged greatly over the last few months following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the emergence of a number of privacy and security concerns has made individuals and organisation hesitant about using the app.
In response to those privacy concerns, the company claims it has fixed the major security issues in the latest version of the app – Zoom 5.0. The new update is equipped with new encryption standards and more privacy options to ease the worries of its users.
Zoom’s download page still only offers Zoom 4.6.12, but 5.0 should be out before the end of the week.
Zoom’s Privacy and Security concerns
As the popularity of Zoom increased globally, several privacy and security experts studied the apps and revealed several security issues concerning the app.
Zoom had initially updated its ios app to block codes that were sending users location and device specs to Facebook after Motherboard analysis discovered the flaw.
Weeks later, the company came under scrutiny for suggesting that its platform had end-to-end encryption for meetings, which it did not have.
Zoom in its latest update has added 256-bit AES-GCM encryption, one of the more complex flavours of the Advanced Encryption Standard to improve the security of the platform. It also added a new button on the menu bar to allow users easy access to the security options available.
For the issue of Zoombombing where a random stranger could crash into Zoom calls, the company has introduced a “report user” button to allow users easily report call crashers.
It is unclear however, why zoombombing can’t be prevented altogether.
Also to protect the safety of users data, Zoom has added an option to allow admins to determine which data centre regions their data is sent to.
Zoom’s response time to the raised concerns is laudable as the company’s earlier announcement that it would pause new features for 90 days to focus on privacy and security has created the much-needed solution in its new update.
However, it appears that many of the new features will mostly be leveraged by tech-savvy users and admins for organizations as the new upgrade sounds more like a manual process that must be engaged personally.
When the new update rolls out at the end of the week, then we would get a clearer picture of whether the privacy and security concerns about the app has been significantly addressed.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!