Google has had it with Zoom’s all-too-frequent and well-publicized privacy and security scandals. BuzzFeed News acquired an email sent to Google employees last week banning the use of Zoom’s desktop app for company business. The email cited “security vulnerabilities” and said, starting this week, Zoom would stop working on company laptops. Given Google has its own services like Hangouts and Duo, it's a wonder it allowed Zoom at all, really.
Zoom on outta here — Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda told BuzzFeed News Zoom didn’t meet the company’s security standards and that Google already prohibited employees from using unapproved apps for their work, which is totally standard behavior for any big corporate. Castaneda went on to say “Employees who have been using Zoom to stay in touch with family and friends can continue to do so through a web browser or via mobile.”
How do you solve a problem like Zoom? — Zoom is desperately trying to quell the torrent of concerns over its software. Privacy concerns have ranged from its attention-tracking tool to private messages ending up in the meeting’s minutes to sharing data with Facebook. It's litany of snafus have drawn attention from users and attorneys general alike. Cybersecurity issues have also led the Taiwanese government and SpaceX to ban Zoom use by their respective employees while fomenting criticism of the company’s Chinese ties. Those same Chinese ties have even seen right-wing social network Gab promising its own alternative video-calling service is in the works.
Zoom’s latest play to regain users' trust involves a new security council and advisory board, featuring a former Facebook executive. The ties to Facebook hardly drum up notions of adherance to data privacy standards, but the former executive in question offers some hope. Alex Stamos famously left Facebook over the company’s response to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, but rehabilitating Zoom's image may be his biggest challenge yet and, if it doesn't make changes fast, an equally big test for his moral compass.