SpaceX employees forbidden from using the Zoom app over privacy concerns

SpaceX employees forbidden from using the Zoom app over privacy concerns
Recently, we reported on the privacy issues surrounding video-conferencing app Zoom. Namely, its iOS version sharing data with Facebook even on users who didn't have a Facebook account. This has been fixed with a patch, though it doesn't bode well for the app's user trust, especially after reports that a feature called "Company Directory" also exposes personal email addresses and photos without users being aware.

Reuters reports that SpaceX employees have received an email forbidding the use of Zoom over privacy concerns, with "email, text or phone" offered as alternative means of communication. The email was sent on March 28th, even before the video-conferencing app's latest privacy issues got reported to the public.

SpaceX is a private American company focusing on manufacturing aerospace products, with its founder's long-term mission being the colonization of Mars.

With around 7,000 employees working on projects such as the national security-classified space launch of orbital spaceflight rocket Falcon 9, which costs up to $61 million per launch, it's reasonable for founder and CEO Elon Musk to take precautions over privacy concerns.

NASA, itself both a partner and client of SpaceX, has also banned the Zoom app from being used, as confirmed to Reuters by a company spokesperson.

In response to recent events, Zoom released an article explaining exactly how the app connects its users, along with an apology for the confusion due to them "incorrectly suggesting that Zoom meetings were capable of using end-to-end-encryption." The article also notes that Zoom is indeed encrypting all video, audio, screen sharing and chat content at the sending client and doesn't decrypt it until it reaches the receiving client. However, this is only valid where all participants are using Zoom clients.

Popular alternatives to Zoom for online video conferencing are Microsoft's Skype and Google Hangouts Meet, both of which allow for hundreds of participants.

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