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Zoom offers new call controls for paying clients in privacy push

Nico Grant

Bloomberg

 /  Tue, April 14, 2020  /  02:05 pm
Zoom offers new call controls for paying clients in privacy push

Zoom Video Communications Inc. will let paying customers decide which countries their virtual meetings get routed through, a move to assuage clients worried they may be vulnerable to possible Chinese snooping. (Bloomberg/Gabby Jones)

Zoom Video Communications Inc. will let paying customers decide which countries their virtual meetings get routed through, a move to assuage clients worried they may be vulnerable to possible Chinese snooping.

The ability to select preferred data center locations will be available beginning April 18, Brendan Ittelson, Zoom chief technology officer, said Monday in a blog post.

Paid users can also opt out of certain locations. Free users will be locked into data centers in their region, which will mean a US-based data center for many users.

Read also: Zoom hires ex-Facebook security chief as Google bans desktop app

Zoom has gone from being used by 10 million office workers a day to more than 200 million people, including many consumers. The new uses have exposed security flaws with the app’s default privacy settings, thrusting the company into controversy and spurring Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan to focus on the safety concerns.

Researchers from the University of Toronto found that some Zoom calls had been routed through data centers in China despite none of the users being based in the country, raising the specter that the data might be accessible to the Chinese government. The company said it would stop routing calls through China unless one of the participants was based there.

Zoom has 19 data centers, which are shared with other tenants, and also uses cloud-computing services from Amazon.com Inc. and Oracle Corp.

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