It’s nothing new, okay, Zoom is, and we already told you a long time ago, a nightmare for privacy. And is that the success of this videoconference service in recent months, the result of the anomalous situation generated by COVID-19, has had as a counterpart for its managers a barrage of (deserved) criticism of its lack of security and privacy.
Some problems to which, in addition, the increasing competition from other companies that offer similar services and have decided to highlight them, such as Google or Microsoft, and others such as Facebook, which has decided to add video conferencing functions to Facebook Messsenger and Whatsapp in order to compete with Zoom.
Aware of such problems, those responsible for Zoom decided to undertake a comprehensive plan to solve all those problems. A plan of 90 (of which practically two thirds have already elapsed) and which, for example, has led the company to acquire KeyBase, a public directory service for encryption keys that can also be associated with application profiles and social networks. By adding this technology to that already used, the privacy of communications would be 100% guaranteed.
However, from that moment on, the company announced that this feature would only be available for paid Zoom accounts. For free accounts, although communications would also be encrypted from end to end, the public and private keys of each user will continue to remain on the servers and, therefore, under the control of the company.
And today we know, from the Reuters Agency, that the company does not rule out “opening” private conversations held through free Zoom accounts. The reason? Pursue the possible criminal use that may be made of them. To justify this measure, they state that the users of the payment accounts are already identified (mainly by the means of payment used), while the free accounts can be 100% anonymous, which facilitates their use for illegal purposes.
At first it may seem like a compelling argument, the problem is thatWouldn’t it make more sense to avoid the anonymity of the accounts? Sacrificing the privacy of all users of free accounts to prosecute marginal criminal use, while shielding payment accounts, does not seem so much a measure to prevent the use of Zoom for illicit purposes, as another resource to make them more attractive the paid accounts that the free ones.