Zoom has reached a deal with New York regulators to better protect users from “Zoom-bombing” and other security problems.
The Thursday pact with the state attorney general’s office marks the videoconferencing company’s latest effort to address mounting concerns about the security and privacy of its platform, which has become a crucial tool during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This agreement puts protections in place so that Zoom users have control over their privacy and security, and so that workplaces, schools, religious institutions, and consumers don’t have to worry while participating in a video call,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.
Under the wide-ranging deal, Zoom agreed to maintain broad access to security features that can help prevent intruders from hijacking video meetings, a phenomenon that has recently plagued school classes and government officials.
Education users and those with free accounts will now be able to require passwords for meetings, put participants in a “waiting room” before the meeting starts, and control which users can share their screens, among other things, according to the agreement.
Zoom will also update its “Acceptable Use Policy” to specifically ban abuse based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity or national origin, the deal says. Some incidents of “Zoom-bombing” have involved such bigoted harassment, officials say.
The agreement grew out of an investigation into Zoom’s privacy and security practices that the AG’s office launched in March. The Silicon Valley company cooperated with the probe and “responded quickly” once concerns were identified, state officials said in the pact.
Zoom said the deal recognizes the “substantial work” the company has done under its 90-day plan to tackle security and privacy issues. The company also recently rolled out a software update that strengthened encryption on the platform.
“We are grateful for the New York Attorney General’s engagement on these important issues and are glad to have reached this resolution so quickly,” a Zoom spokesperson said in a statement.
Zoom’s stock price was up 0.6 percent at $158.76 as of 11:03 a.m. Friday.
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