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Three Attorneys General Raise Zoom Security Concerns

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At least three attorneys general, including those from Connecticut, New York, and Florida have requested information about Zoom Video Communications after reports about the privacy and security of its app showed potential concerns. Zoom’s video-conferencing platform gained popularity amid shelter-in-place orders enacted to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, however, there are concerns about the privacy and security of the app over zoombombing reports.

The Boston office of the FBI recently advised users to not make Zoom meetings public and to not widely share links after two reports of “zoom-bombing,” where intruders hijack meetings that they were not invited to and fill it with hate speech, offensive images, and other disruptions; the reports involved individuals invading school classroom sessions.

“We are alarmed by the Zoom-bombing incidents and are seeking more information from the company about its privacy and security measures in coordination with other state attorneys general,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has sent a letter to Zoom, asking the company to answer specific questions and to make sure it takes the right steps to ensure privacy and security for its users. Connecticut AG William Tong stated that a Zoom meeting that he was on was zoombombed with inappropriate messages in the chat box, which prompted him to investigate the platform. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued steps users can take to safeguard their privacy and protect their meetings.

A Zoom spokesperson stated that the company was beginning conversations with officials. “Zoom is working around-the-clock to ensure that universities, schools, and other businesses around the world can stay connected and operational during this pandemic, and we take user privacy, security, and trust extremely seriously,” a Zoom spokesperson said. “We appreciate the outreach we have received on these issues from various elected officials and look forward to engaging with them.”

Zoom has provided information on how to prevent zoombombing through features on the platform, it has also updated its privacy policy to clarify the data it collects and removed code that sent data to Facebook

Additionally, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has sought information from Zoom. Meanwhile, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), ranking member of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, has sent a letter to the FTC to investigate Zoom for deceptive practices about privacy.

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