Month: April 2020

Zoom videoconferencing application reached 200 million daily users

Zoom reached 200 million daily users during March 2020. It is a record increase for this videoconferencing application, which had only 10 million users in December 2019. However, the American company is stuck in numerous cases related to the lack of security of its product. To improve its image, it announces various measures such as the publication of a transparency report, webinars, and an improvement of its bounty bug program.

In a blog post published on April 1, 2020, Zoom’s founder, Eric S.Yuan, announced that the video conferencing application reached 200 million daily users in March 2020. By way of comparison, in December 2019, the maximum number of participants in “free or paid daily meetings” was around 10 million.

This explosion is due to containment, a measure necessary to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. We will see if this situation will continue in the long term, especially once the health crisis has passed. The consequence of this sustained use is the emergence of numerous problems related to the safety of the application. “We now have a much more users who are using our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges that we did not foresee when we designed the platform,” writes Eric S. Yuan.

A strategy to regain user confidence

Data leaks, lies about encryption, machine vulnerabilities… One problem after another for the start-up. The latest: disclosure of personal data caused by poor contact management. Faced with these concerns that undermine Zoom’s reputation, Eric S.Yuan announces a series of measures. “For the next 90 days, we are committed to devoting the necessary resources to identify, address, and resolve the issues proactively,” he says in his blog post.

It includes preparing a “transparency report” detailing information related to “data, folder or content queries,” a weekly webinar on Wednesday at 10:00 am to explain upcoming updates, conducting a comprehensive “comprehension review” with independent experts and representative users. Besides, Zoom is committed to improving its bounty bug program and mobilizing “all its technical resources” to strengthen its security.

On paper, Zoom seems to want to improve the privacy and security of its users. In practice, what means will it be implemented? It should be noted that incidents are not necessarily due to purely technical concerns. The American company openly lied about the security protocol used to encrypt audio and video streams. This seductive operation came a few days after the Attorney General of the State of New York sent a letter to the company asking it to explain its privacy policy.