Zoom had over 200 million daily meeting participants in March, about 20x the average, as people isolate themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But this video conferencing service faces criticism for a lack of security. That’s why Zoom CEO Eric Yuan on Thursday stopped all work on adding new features to its software to instead focus on fixing problems with privacy and public trust.
A Zoom privacy mea culpa
“We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s – and our own – privacy and security expectations. For that, I am deeply sorry,” said Yuan in a blog post.
And the CEO is doing more than making promises. He announced that he’s “enacting a feature freeze, effectively immediately, and shifting all our engineering resources to focus on our biggest trust, safety, and privacy issues.”
Zoom’s privacy problems
Last week, Zoom had to remove controversial code from its iOS app that shared user data to Facebook — even when those users didn’t have a Facebook account.
And before that, the company didn’t have a good history of protecting user privacy. Last year, it was caught installing a web server on Macs in order to circumvent Safari’s built-in security and privacy tools. Apple eventually fixed this with an automatic security update.
People around the world turn to this video conferencing service to keep in touch with work, family and friends as they shelter in place from the COVID-19 outbreak. This lead to the dramatic increase in daily users month, and its stock price has nearly doubled since before the crisis. But a lack of trust in the company isn’t helping it.