Video-conferencing app Zoom to be banned in schools in NYC over security concerns

Zoom to be banned in schools in NYC over security concerns
During the coronavirus lockdown, video-conferencing apps, such as Zoom, have been gaining popularity as means of communication for people, working or studying remotely. Unfortunately for the company, however, it has been struggling with some privacy issues and has been under scrutiny in recent weeks.

Now, Chalkbeat reports that schools in New York have been asked to use Microsoft Teams instead of Zoom to deliver their online lessons. Reportedly, the app is banned in the city’s public schools over the alleged security issues. The information was found in a memo, issued by the NYC Department of Education (DOE), which seems no longer in favor of Zoom’s usage. The guidance states that schools have to transition to Microsoft Teams as soon as possible.

Additionally, department officials said that Google’s platforms for video and audio conferencing with students are also safe enough to use, despite the department’s initial advice against it.

At the moment, there is no specific deadline for schools to make the transition to Microsoft Teams and the DOE says that they are working on a gradual, stress-free transition. However, some school representatives are uncomfortable with the situation, stating that the change will be hard to implement for teachers and students and it may even limit some students’ access to remote learning.

Danielle Filson, a spokesperson for the NYC DOE, stated that the department is currently training schools for the use of Microsoft Teams and added that they will support teachers and students in transitioning.

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The memo also stated that the Department of Education will continue to monitor the Zoom app and may change its position, if the app is found to be secure enough to be allowed again.

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