Zoom’s recent growth has brought it to the fore on a range of privacy and security issues, and the company now promises to resolve them within the next 90 days. In a detailed blog post, Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan explains how the company has responded to a massive increase in the number of users. Zoom has never shared user numbers before, but Yuan says the company had a maximum of 10 million daily users in December. “In March of this year, we reached over 200 million daily meeting attendees, free and paid,” says Yuan.
It’s a huge increase that has seen people using Zoom for reasons that no one expected before the coronavirus pandemic. “Our platform was designed primarily for businesses,” says Yuan. “We did not design the product with the foresight that, in a few weeks, everyone in the world could suddenly work, study and socialize from home. We now have a much wider user base that uses our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges that we did not anticipate when the platform was designed. “
The challenges of supporting 200 million users from 10 million a few months ago are significant enough, but the privacy and security concerns that have been discovered recently present greater challenges for the business. Zoom now freezes its feature updates and instead focuses on its security and privacy concerns. “Over the next 90 days, we are committed to devoting the resources necessary to better identify, resolve and resolve problems proactively,” said Yuan. “We are also committed to being transparent throughout this process.”
All of Zoom’s engineering resources will now be focused on security and privacy issues, and the company is planning a “full review” with third parties to make sure it properly manages the security of these new usage cases.
Zoom is also committed to publishing a transparency report to share the number of requests from law enforcement and governments regarding user data. This is something digital rights groups have asked Zoom to publish. Zoom is also improving its bug reward program, consulting with other industry information security officials, and using white box penetration tests to identify other security bugs.
Yuan will also host a weekly webinar on Wednesdays at 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET to discuss privacy and security updates for Zoom as he addresses his response over the next 90 days. “Transparency has always been at the heart of our culture,” says Yuan. “I promise to be open and honest with you about the areas where we are strengthening our platform and the areas where users can take their own steps to make the best use and protect themselves on the platform.”
Zoom’s response is what many members of the security community had asked for, and the company is committed to resolving the issues identified and promises to be transparent in the process. It’s heartening to hear from existing Zoom users and the millions of new users who choose the app to connect with friends, family and colleagues for the first time.