Much has been written about the security and privacy issues with the Zoom videoconferencing application. What may be written more about over the next few months (and in numerous case studies) is how Zoom is responding to those issues.
To begin, the CEO, Eric Yuan, has apologized for Zoom’s prior lack of focus on privacy. Next, his team has stopped all development projects to focus exclusively on security and privacy issues. In addition, he has hired Alex Stamos to be Zoom’s privacy and security advisor as well as has recruited top Chief Security Officers from around the world to serve on an advisory board.
With a user base which has more than doubled since the beginning of the year, Zoom has benefited greatly from the WFH global environment. It is incredible that it has been able to sustain its operability during this growth. But it’s perhaps more impressive that the company, and its CEO in particular, is focusing seriously and aggressively on privacy. This is particularly notable in an era that is unfortunately also fraught with profiteering, scamming and passing the buck.
It hopefully is a wake up call for any company to take it’s privacy issues seriously and to recognize that by doing so, you are not only securing public trust, you are creating brand value.
In 1982, Tylenol responded to its own crisis, when some of its products were tampered leading to poisoning, by pulling every bottle off the shelves and owning the issue. Since then, their response has been a PR crisis case study.
I think Zoom is on its way to becoming a case study as well.