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Google bans employees from using Zoom over privacy concerns

Google has banned its employees from downloading and using Zoom on their work computers over the videoconferencing service’s recent security and privacy woes.

Google announced the new policy in an email to employees last week. The story was first reported by Buzzfeed News.

Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda told Digital Trends that Zoom does not meet the company’s security standards. 

“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,” Castaneda said. “Employees who have been using Zoom to stay in touch with family and friends can continue to do so through a web browser or via mobile.”

We reached out to Zoom to comment on Google’s decision not to use its app and will update this story when we hear back. 

The news follows SpaceX’s decision to stop using Zoom over the same concerns, and NASA has reportedly banned its staff from the videoconferencing app as well, according to Reuters. 

As more people hold virtual meetings amid the coronavirus outbreak, Zoom has rapidly gained in popularity as one of the top videoconferencing apps, but not without some concerns over its privacy. 

A recent investigation by Motherboard revealed Zoom’s iOS app was sending some data about users to Facebook, which was not made clear in the app’s privacy policy. Data shared included people’s location, which device they were using, and advertising identification data. Zoom has since updated its iOS app to stop sending data to Facebook. 

There has also been the issue of “zoombombers,” or internet trolls that are able to easily sneak into meetings and send inappropriate content to others in the call. 

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan has insisted that improvements have been made and Zoom recently changed its default settings to promote privacy. 

“We have all of the security features built-in, however, we need to offer some education. We should have enforced settings for brand new users, especially consumers, and that’s what we have done recently,” Yuan told CNN. “We’ve doubled down, tripled down on security and privacy.”

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