UPDATED 14:30 EST / MAY 08 2020


New York AG ends inquiry into Zoom after security and privacy commitments

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday closed an inquiry into Zoom Video Communications Inc. after the company agreed to implement a series of security and privacy enhancements.

In late March, following the discovery of several security issues, James’ office sent a letter to Zoom seeking clarification on how it handles user data. One of the request’s main focus areas was student privacy. The letter raised concerns that the company’s platform was potentially circumventing state requirements pertaining to the protection of student data.

As part of the agreement to end the inquiry, Zoom has pledged to implement improved privacy and security controls for education accounts. Students and teachers who log in with a New York Department of Education account now have certain options enabled by default, including settings that allow the meeting host to restrict who is allowed to join.

Beyond these steps, Zoom will send a copy of its annual cybersecurity audit to the New York attorney general’s office for the next three years. The agreement also covers a number of enhancements the company had previously implemented. For instance, Zoom agreed not to reinstate a recently removed LinkedIn integration that made it possible to expose data on some users.

“We are pleased to have reached a resolution with the New York Attorney General, which recognizes the substantial work that Zoom has completed as part of our 90-day security and privacy plan, including making a number of our pre-existing security features on by default and also introducing new security enhancements,” a Zoom spokesperson told CNBC.

As part of the same security and privacy plan, the company will roll out end-to-end encryption for paying users in the coming months. Zoom will publicly share technical details on the project on May 22 to solicit feedback from experts. It earlier this week acquired Keybase Inc., a venture-backed startup with an encrypted messaging app, to support the development effort.

Photo: Zoom

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