Zoom leaves recordings of calls exposed on the internet, report finds

Thousands of recorded Zoom video calls have been left exposed on the web, including one-on-one therapy sessions, elementary school classes and even a Brazilian waxing class, according to a new report.
The video conferencing platform — which has seen its popularity explode during the coronavirus epidemic — has left the personal and private information of thousands endangered, according to The Washington Post.
In addition to recorded therapy sessions, exposed videos have included “a training orientation for workers doing telehealth calls, which included people’s names and phone numbers; small business meetings, which included private company financial statements; and elementary school classes, in which children’s faces, voices and personal details were exposed,” the paper reported Friday.
“Many of the videos include personally identifiable information and deeply intimate conversations, recorded in people’s homes,” the report added. “Other videos include nudity, such as one in which an aesthetician teaches students how to give a Brazilian wax.”
Zoom gives all of its recordings an identical name if users don’t pick one, which means that all of the videos are grouped together in the online storage space where they are stored. Anyone familiar with Zoom’s naming technique could easily search for and find the collection of recorded calls, according to the report.
No members of a Zoom call are required to give their consent for the call to be recorded, but are notified when it is being recorded and have the option to leave the meeting.
Zoom told The Washington Post in a statement that it provides hosts with information on how to bolster the privacy of their calls, and that it urges them to “to use extreme caution and be transparent with meeting participants, giving careful consideration to whether the meeting contains sensitive information and to participants’ reasonable expectation.”
Zoom Chief Executive Eric Yuan admitted in a Wednesday night blog post that Zoom “did not design the product with the foresight that, in a matter of weeks, every person in the world would suddenly be working, studying, and socializing from home.”
Yuan apologized for failing to meet users’ “privacy and security expectations.” Zoom will freeze any new features for 90 days while it tackles security issues.
The report arrives the same day that at least two US state attorneys general sought information from Zoom about the lengths to which it goes to protect the privacy of its users.
“We are alarmed by the Zoom-bombing incidents and are seeking more information from the company about its privacy and security measures in coordination with other state attorneys general,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said.
The FBI’s Boston office on Monday warned Zoom users not to make meetings on the site public or share links widely after it received two reports of unidentified individuals invading school sessions, a phenomenon known as “zoombombing”.
New York State AG Letitia James has sent a letter to Zoom with a number of questions to ensure the company is taking appropriate steps to ensure users’ privacy and security, a spokesperson said.
“We appreciate the outreach we have received on these issues from various elected officials and look forward to engaging with them,” a Zoom spokesperson said.

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