The coronavirus outbreak has seen millions of people ordered to stay in their homes flock to Zoom, using the video conference app for everything from brunches and birthday parties to religious events and even a UK cabinet meeting. But the spike in popularity is leading to a wave of scrutiny, particularly around privacy.While video chat apps in general have seen a surge in usage, including Microsoft's Skype and Teams platforms and Cisco's Webex, Zoom has emerged as the go-to contender thanks to its ability to host a large number of users — up to 100 in the free version — and fun social features such as customisable photo backgrounds. The company's stock price has nearly doubled in the past two months.But that surge in growth and the company's widespread usage have surfaced several concerns.In the last week alone, issues with Zoom's privacy protections have been flagged by users, security researchers and US authorities. The increased attention highlights a new front in the global debate over privacy and security as a result of the global pandemic, as millions of people adapt to working remotely and using technology that could potentially expose their data.New York Attorney General Letitia James sent a letter to Zoom on Monday asking whether the company "is taking appropriate steps to ensure users' privacy and security," a spokesman for James's office told CNN Business.In a statement, Zoom said it would address James's questions."Zoom takes its users' privacy, security, and trust extremely seriously," a spokesperson for the company said in a statement.
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan attends the opening bell at Nasdaq as his company holds its IPO in New York in April 2019 (AAP)
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Zoom CEO Eric Yuan attends the opening bell at Nasdaq as his company holds its IPO in New York in April 2019 (AAP)Originally published on CNN and re-published with permission