The scrutiny that has accompanied Zoom’s growth in recent months has uncovered many concerns over the company’s privacy policies. The most recent development that there are half a million accounts for sale on the dark web has fuelled further concern. However, this concern regarding weak privacy standards should not be limited to Zoom. In 2018, Facebook revealed that 50 million users had been compromised by a cyberattack, and as recently as December 2019, research found that there were more than 267 million names, phone numbers, and user IDs associated with Facebook accounts on the dark web.
Zoom announced a 90-day plan to improve standards, and CEO Eric Yuan is hosting weekly webinars detailing privacy updates. These are positive steps, but consumers must take steps to protect their own privacy.
Ella Benson Easton, Thematic Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “For years, convenience has trumped privacy concerns. The COVID-19 lockdowns have led to some unfamiliar technology companies such as Zoom becoming central to daily life. People have put their security at risk to continue working and communicating with others.
“Although Zoom is the target of investigation currently, the spotlight will soon move on. To prevent the ongoing cycle of data privacy scandals, the trade-off whereby convenience is largely achieved by sacrificing privacy must end. This will only occur with regulation, or consumers refusing to give up their data for convenience.”