Home / Tech / Zoom CEO says company 'moved too fast' and made 'missteps' as privacy concerns about the popular video conferencing app have snowballed in recent weeks

Zoom CEO says company 'moved too fast' and made 'missteps' as privacy concerns about the popular video conferencing app have snowballed in recent weeks

eric yuan zoom ceo

  • Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said the company “moved too fast” and made some errors about user privacy in an interview with CNN.
  • Zoom has exploded in popularity in recent weeks as a growing number of people are using it to communicate with those they cannot see in person.
  • With that rising popularity has come a slew of privacy concerns, particularly the practice of “Zoom-bombing.”
  • Yuan said the company should have put stronger security requirements in place much earlier, but said the company is moving quickly to address such concerns.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Zoom’s usage has skyrocketed in recent weeks as about 90% of Americans are under orders to stay home, and with that newfound popularity has come a slew of privacy concerns. 

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said in an interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday that the company took some “missteps” when it comes to privacy and security.

“Our service was built to serve business and enterprise customers,” Yuan said during the interview. “However, due to this COVID-19 crisis, we moved too fast.”

Yuan said that Zoom should have enforced tighter security from the start, but that it has since taken action over the past couple of weeks to “fix those missteps.” The comments build on the message Zoom posted to its blog last week, in which the company apologized for falling short of privacy and security expectations.

Yuan also reiterated another point initially made in that blog post: that Zoom was built to serve businesses with IT support, and was not prepared to account for the growing number of people who are using the platform in unexpected ways — from holding virtual weddings to school lessons.

As Zoom has ballooned in popularity — the company says it hosted more than 200 million daily meeting participants in March alone, compared to 10 million in December — a number of privacy and security concerns have emerged. Internet trolls have been hijacking Zoom video chat rooms and displaying offensive content in a new practice known as “Zoom bombing,”  and the company has also been hit with a class-action lawsuit over accusations that it shared some analytics data with Facebook without properly alerting consumers.

The New York City Department of Education also recently banned Zoom usage for remote teaching over privacy and security concerns. Yuan said to CNN that the company is currently in the process of working with New York City schools to address such concerns. 

In the blog post from April 1, Zoom also laid out the ways in which it’s boosting security and privacy, which include bringing in external experts to asses its security and releasing a transparency report containing information related to data requests among other measures.

“We take actions quickly, and we had some missteps over the past weeks,” Yuan said to CNN. “Our intention [is] good, now we learned [a] lesson, and we’ll double down, triple down on privacy and security before we do anything, we need to think about that.” 

View the full interview with Yuan on CNN below.

 

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