Zoom agrees to implement extra safety for video calls underneath FTC settlement

Zoom has agreed to ramp up its safety.

Angela Lang/CNET

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Zoom has agreed to implement better security for its video calling platform underneath a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission. The corporate “deceived customers” by claiming to had end-to-end 256-bit encryption, the FTC alleged in its criticism.

“In actuality, the FTC alleges, Zoom maintained the cryptographic keys that might enable Zoom to entry the content material of its clients’ conferences, and secured its Zoom Conferences, partially, with a decrease stage of encryption than promised,” the FTC mentioned.

It additionally allegedly saved some recorded conferences unencrypted on its servers for as much as 60 days.

Zoom’s security points got here to gentle when working from residence turned the norm underneath coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions. In line with the FTC, its consumer base elevated from 10 million in December final 12 months to 300 million in April. However with “zoombombings” becoming more frequent, the video assembly firm got here underneath stress to safe customers’ connections.

“In the course of the pandemic, virtually everybody — households, faculties, social teams, companies — is utilizing videoconferencing to speak, making the safety of those platforms extra essential than ever,” Andrew Smith, FTC’s director of Shopper Safety, mentioned in a press release. “This motion will assist to ensure that Zoom conferences and knowledge about Zoom customers are protected.”

Because of its points, Zoom bought a security company in May and rolled out end-to-end encryption for calls last month.  

Learn extra: How to use Zoom like a pro: 15 video chat tips and tricks to try now

The FTC’s criticism additionally alleged Zoom “secretly put in software program” referred to as ZoomOpener, which allowed computer systems to launch the app with out permission from the consumer. This in flip “elevated customers’ threat of distant video surveillance by strangers,” it is alleged.

Zoom did not admit or deny the allegations within the settlement, however agreed to implement a brand new mandated data safety program inside 60 days. It should additionally use safer safeguards like multi-factor authentication and knowledge deletion; doc potential dangers yearly and methods to mitigate these dangers; and implement a vulnerability administration program. The video-calling firm additionally agreed to not make misrepresentations about privateness, safety and knowledge utilization. Impartial safety audits are required each different 12 months.

Zoom mentioned safety “is a high precedence,” and it had already begun implementing a lot of the suggestions.

“We take significantly the belief our customers place in us every single day, notably as they depend on us to maintain them linked by means of this unprecedented world disaster,” a Zoom spokesperson informed CNET in an emailed assertion. “In the present day’s decision with the FTC is consistent with our dedication to innovating and enhancing our product as we ship a safe video communications expertise.”

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Anil Kumar

Anil Kumar Gadgets writes for Review Tech smartphones, wearables, headphones and speakers based in Delhi for 360 Tech News. Anil Gadgets is a reviewer for 360 Tech News and has written in detail about smartphones, software updates and upcoming devices.

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