Zoom Communications has issues with privacy
Because of the coronavirus, people all over the world are forced to stay at home. Video conferencing is then an effective tool to keep in touch with friends/family and get the necessary work done.
One of the big winners so far in this exploding market is the company Zoom Communications. The share price has doubled since the beginning of the year and its market capitalization has skyrocketed to over $ 38 billion.
The demand for service is enormous. The app is downloaded more than 240,000 times a day. The growth in the number of users since February 2020 exceeds the whole year of 2019.
However, the explosive growth of Zoom is problematic. If you look closely at the graph above, you will also see that the price of the company has recently come under pressure.
What is wrong? A few weeks ago the website Motherboard made public that Zoom secretly forwarded data from its users to Facebook. Since then, more negative news has come out about Zoom's way of working. For example, the company doesn't seem to care about security, allowing outsiders to break into video conferences without much effort.
Zoom Communications has also built-in so-called attention-tracking features. This allows the initiator of the video conference to check whether everyone is present and actively participating. That happens after 30 seconds. Moreover, there’s a function that the conversations are recorded and automatically transcribed. In this way, the initiator of the video conference can share these conversation reports with third parties without the participants being aware of it.
All of these coverages have sparked quite a bit of controversy in the US, so much that the New York District Attorney has already sent a letter to Zoom Communications expressing concern about Zoom's privacy and security practices. In California, a user of Zoom started a so-called class-action lawsuit because of the violation of his privacy.