In a letter to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan at present, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) raised new considerations in regards to the service’s security and privacy policies amid unprecedented shopper utilization of the product in schooling and elsewhere. The letter pays explicit consideration to customers below the age of 13 who’re topic to particular privacy protections below the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
The letter particulars plenty of Zoom’s latest safety and privacy points, together with the latest “Zoombombing” harassment assaults and its iOS app inadvertently sharing information with Facebook.
“We appreciate your announced intention to address each of these issues,” the letter reads, “but it is alarming that Zoom allowed these security breaches to affect millions of users and did not identify or resolve them until they became public.”
Yuan has acknowledged that Zoom was unprepared for the surge in non-enterprise customers. “Clearly we have a lot of work to do to ensure the security of all these new consumer use cases,” Yuan mentioned in a public reside stream on Wednesday. “But what I can promise you is that we take these issues very, very seriously.”
As an enterprise app, Zoom was not constructed with underage customers in thoughts, and the corporate’s privacy coverage notes that it doesn’t “knowingly allow children under the age of 16 to sign up for their own accounts” — though there’s a particular provision for the Zoom Education service. Still, Warren and Markey level out that the surge in utilization makes it doubtless that many lecturers have ended up utilizing the free service as an emergency measure. Zoom additionally collects varied information from free customers, making it believable that children’s information could have been collected by the app.
In gentle of these considerations, Warren and Markey ask Yuan for detailed and particular info on the corporate’s information practices and safety historical past. In explicit, the senators ask for a full recounting of any information breaches the service has skilled in addition to all the reported incidents of Zoombombing in a classroom context. The senators additionally ask for broader details about how Zoom is working to keep compliance with COPPA.
The letter comes amid an unprecedented surge in scrutiny for the app, which had been largely restricted to enterprise customers earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, Markey known as on the Federal Trade Commission to set official privacy requirements for videoconferencing instruments, a possible signal of escalating regulation in the house.