Zoom’s recent development has placed it at the center of attention because of a series of privacy and security issues, and the business guarantees to address these issues in the next 90 days. CEO Eric S. Yuan explains in a blog post on how Zoom has been dealing with the huge boost in the number of users. Zoom never has before experienced sharing user numbers, but Yuan disclosed that the company had an all-time high 10 million daily users back in December. According to Yuan, Zoom exceeded more than 200 million daily meeting participants (both free and paid) in March this year.
The huge growth has revealed an increasing number of people who use Zoom for reasons nobody expected before the coronavirus outbreak. “Our platform was built primarily for enterprise customers,” tells Yuan. “We did not design the product with the foresight that, in a matter of weeks, every person in the world would suddenly be working, studying, and socializing from home. We now have a much broader set of users who are utilizing our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges we did not anticipate when the platform was conceived.”
The struggles of supporting 200 million users compared to a lesser number (10 million) a few months ago are important enough, but the privacy and security issues that have been recently discovered might pose more challenges for the company. Zoom is now placing its feature updates on hold and prioritizing its security and privacy issues. According to Yuan, the company is committed to dedicating the resources needed to better identify, address, and fix issues proactively over the next 90 days. “We are also committed to being transparent throughout this process,” tells Yuan.
Zoom’s goal is to focus more on safety and privacy issues with its engineering sources, and the company aims to do a “comprehensive review” with third-parties to guarantee the proper safety and security of new consumer cases.
The company also promises to release a transparency report to disclose the number of requests from governments and law enforcement for user data, which is something that was called out by digital rights advocacy groups. In addition, Zoom is already consulting with other chief information security officers across the industry to improve its bug bounty program as well as using white-box penetration tests to determine other security issues.
Yuan will also have a weekly webinar at 10AM PT / 1PM ET every Wednesday to hold discussions about Zoom’s privacy and security updates as it addresses its response in the next 90 days. According to Yuan, transparency has always been a core part of the company’s culture. “I am committed to being open and honest with you about areas where we are strengthening our platform and areas where users can take steps of their own to best use and protect themselves on the platform,” says Yuan.
The company’s response to the requests is what many in the security community had been asking for. Zoom promises to fix the identified issues and vows to be transparent in the process.
This gives encouragement to Zoom’s existing users and the potential millions of new users that will opt to use the app to connect to their friends, loved ones, and coworkers.