Due to the unprecedented quarantine following the recent COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of users on a streaming site called Zoom, from 10 million users in December to a recent 300 million users (and counting) in May. This website/desktop client allows users to easily access and use live streams as supplementary time for school classrooms and occupational meetings. However, Zoom’s ease of use has made it easy for troublemakers to gather data from Zoom meetings.
Junior James Gaston compares the popularity of Zoom to other streaming services. “Zoom isn’t as popular as Skype and other apps that have been around longer,” claims Gaston. “But in comparison, Zoom is fairly easy to use.”
Due to these previous concerns, happening around the scope of late March to early April, some school systems (especially those in New York) have outright banned usage of the desktop app. This is a legitimate concern, as most of these leaks of data were shown to come from the desktop client. As of April 21, 2020, Zoom’s 5.0 update has masked some privacy issues by making user information more latent in their databases. The update also featured the option to have passwords by default, general improvements to data encryption, and a new security icon to control meetings.
Gaston further provides insight into his experience with Zoom’s accessibility. “For me, I needed to get the app to use it because before I did, it wouldn’t let me join any links,” proclaims Gaston. “It didn’t allow me to use it with just the website.”