Google joins governments in banning Zoom over security concerns
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Google joins governments in banning Zoom over security concerns

Google's parent company has become the latest to ban the use of the remote working app citing concerns over its security features. Credit: Zoom media kit

Google’s parent company Alphabet followed in the footsteps of several governments and firms who have banned video conference app Zoom over security concerns.

The American video conference app has been gaining popularity as work teams around the world turned to it to keep operations running amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Citing concerns over the security features of the app’s desktop version, Alphabet banned employees from using it on their laptops but continued allowing its use in mobile devices.

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“Recently, our security team informed employees using Zoom Desktop Client that it will no longer run on corporate computers as it does not meet our security standards for apps used by our employees,” company spokesman Jose Castaneda said, Reuters reports.

According to reports, the concerns relate to the app lacking end-to-end encryption for preventing intruders from crashing into or eavesdropping on conversations.

Zoom has recently been accused of using misleading marketing strategies for promoting its products as supporting end-to-end encryption, a feature which was found to apply only between the company’s and the user’s server, not between participants in a video call.

Concerns over the app’s handling of user data as well as potentially invasive features granted to the host of any call have also been at the centre of criticism aimed at Zoom, whose shares spiked by around 15% as the pandemic saw the world increasingly turn to remote working.

The decision by Alphabet —whose company Google also offers video conference tools— to ban the app, comes after the UK’s defence ministry, NASA and Space X all moved to ban the app.

The governments of Taiwan, of New York City and of Germany have also announced they were banning or restricting the use of Zoom.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times