New York City schools move away from Zoom amid security concerns

Coronavirus
Schools in New York City are moving away from using the video conference app Zoom after a review of security concerns. (Shutterstock)

Schools in New York City are moving away from using the video conference app Zoom after a review of security concerns.
(Shutterstock)

Schools in New York City are moving away from using the video conference app Zoom after a review of security concerns.

The city’s Department of Education is directing schools to “move away from using Zoom as soon as possible,” Danielle Filson, a department spokeswoman, told CNN in a statement.

“There are many new components to remote learning, and we are making real-time decisions in the best interest of our staff and student,” Filson said.

The department does not have a central contract with Zoom, Filson said, and students and staff will be transitioning to Microsoft Teams, which has “the same capabilities with appropriate security measures in place.”

Earlier this week, federal officials began warning of a new potential privacy and security concern called “Zoombombing.”

The term refers to a form of cyber harassment reported by some app users, who have reported that some of their calls have been hijacked by unidentified individuals and trolls who spew hateful language or share graphic images.

Several incidents have occurred during online Zoom classes, involving people yelling profanities or exposing themselves.

Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of Zoom, apologized to the video conferencing app’s users for the privacy issues earlier this week, saying his team will stop adding new features for the next 90 days and instead focus solely on addressing privacy issues.

“We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s — and our own — privacy and security expectations,” Eric Yuan said in a blog post on Wednesday. “For that, I am deeply sorry.”

Yuan said over 90,000 schools across 20 countries have been using the platform for online teaching since the company offered its services free of charge to schools because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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