By Kellen Beck
After facing heavy criticism for the way it handles privacy and security, the video conferencing service Zoom is making a few very necessary updates.
Beginning April 5, all meetings going forward will have automatically enabled password protection and waiting rooms. The password protection makes it so you need a password to enter a meeting even if you already have the meeting ID, although those who enter a meeting via a link will not need to enter the password. The waiting room allows the hosts to selectively admit people who are waiting to enter a meeting, so if they see a name they don’t recognize, they can choose not to let them have access.
It has recently become popular to “Zoombomb” meetings by entering a meeting in progress with just the meeting ID. These meeting IDs can be easily found, so giving people additional security right out of the gate can keep meetings from getting interrupted by strangers.
Both of these features were already available in Zoom, but now that many more people are using the platform to communicate during the coronavirus outbreak Zoom has opted turning these features on automatically.
Of course, this doesn’t fix all of Zoom’s issues with privacy and security, which include the platform mining data from users’ computers and the fact that meetings aren’t fully encrypted, which leaves users basically open to the public privacy-wise, The Intercept reported.
In the context of everything wrong with the platform, enabling two privacy features for users that were already available on the platform is about the smallest step Zoom could take, but the platform has admitted to many of its privacy and security and pledged to fix them.