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The Unsafe World of Virtual Meetings

Today, we are surrounded with a gazillion tech-driven portals that literally lead to a whole different world, a world removed from reality. The digital sphere a.k.a virtual world has been witnessing its importance rise up meteorically in our lives as it gets closer and closer to cater our every single need. Rarely will you see a creation rework the very identity of all the major sectors, which tells you a lot about the kind of results technology brings with it. Apart from general results, it also plays a massive role in constructing inclusivity throughout the population. Before technology’s era dawned up on us, the methods to access certain services were far from universal. However, now, you can carry out tasks of any nature with just a few clicks, thus inviting more people into the fold and crafting a close-knitted world.

Even though it was already growing, our relationship with technology took a whole new meaning during the pandemic. With physical infrastructure going inactive, the digital realm stepped up and delivered whatever we expected out of it and more. The most important function it performed though was of facilitating our interaction with the outer world, and a key player in this area was Zoom Video Communications. When on-campus education and work became impossible, Zoom and other video communication apps came to our rescue. These apps very much became a part of our day-to-day lives as our reliance on them was just too much to ignore. However, in our bid to keep things afloat through these digital tools, we failed to notice the risk we were putting ourselves under every day when we logged into one of those Zoom meetings.

Fortunately, this did catch someone’s attention and soon Zoom had a lawsuit on their hands. The allegations were that the company sold personal data to organizations like Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn. Another thing the company was accused of was letting hackers disrupt meetings through a practice popularly known as “Zoombombing”

Even though Zoom has denied any wrongdoing of such kind, the company has agreed to shell out $85 million for reaching a settlement on the lawsuit. The subscribers of the platform are also eligible for 15% refund on their core subscriptions or $25, whichever is bigger. Other users are expected to get upto $15. There were also some non-monetary penalties in play that mandated Zoom to integrate security measures like alerting the user about hosted meetings, and notify the other members, in case a user has third-party apps active. The company is also expected to provide specialized training to employees on topics like privacy and data handling.

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