News & Analysis

Zoom Users Chill! CEO Eric Yuan Lists out Improvements Galore

(Source: Eric Yuan Twitter)

Video conferencing has been a part of the new normal following the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown. For California-based Zoom, it was just the opportunity that it required to zoom ahead of competitors such as Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts (now Meet). And zoom ahead, it did with daily users reaching 300 million daily meeting participants. 

Though Zoom has now watered down its April 2020 claim of having 300 million users, the fact is that the sudden spurt on its platform caused several issues related to privacy and security as well as latency, which they resolved through aligning with Oracle Cloud and AWS. Around that time, CEO Eric S. Yuan announced a 90-day freeze on new feature development that was not related to security and privacy.

(Source: Eric Yuan Twitter) 

That 90-day moratorium ended yesterday and Yuan was quick to release information through a new blog post where he reflected on the changes and enhancements. The most important one relates to a comprehensive systems review by third-party experts, creation of a transparency report, spiking up its bug bounty program, setting up a CISO council and conducting white box penetration tests besides hosting weekly calls to provide privacy and security updates. 

The blog goes on to state that by shifting all their engineering resources to focus on safety and privacy, Zoom was able to release 100 features including the upgraded Zoom 5.0 with AES 256 GCM encryption made available to both free and paid users, user interface upgrades, ability to report users, default meeting settings such as password, waiting room and limited screen share. 

However, the most critical aspect that Eric Yuan shared was around the company getting Keybase and building end-to-end encryption for all users, whether paid or free. Other features include the ability to disable multiple device logins by the host, unmute consent, cloud recording, expiration and tightening up Zoom chat controls. 

Referring to the third-party expert review, the Zoom honcho says that his company received the review and made enhancements around the products, practices and policies including setting up the CISO advisory council. On the transparency data, he said that the first report would be made available in the second quarter of 2020. 

In addition to the above, Eric Yuan said Zoom would continue to focus on privacy and security and thereafter start focusing on upgrading new features as more and more users opt for the video conferencing route to overcome their work-from-home challenges. 

Readers can download a PDF of the most recent updates right here

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