Quit Zoom

For your security, safety and benefit

As many people have become stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, one video conferencing platform came to rule them all. Zoom. It’s easy, simple and tends to work. I’m not here to say Zoom is bad or evil or even that you shouldn’t use it. All I want is for everyone to understand that Zoom and all other software are not perfect, but there might be a less imperfect service out there. I’m here too make you aware of some of the issues with Zoom and open you up to the idea of using another service. I do believe that most people shouldn’t be using Zoom just because there are better options out there, but you can have your own opinion, so look around check out some of the links and find out for yourself what you want to do.

Who Is Behind This?

I am a Skyler, a high school student living in Ohio. Early into the COVID-19 pandemic I noticed many people using Zoom and the stories in the news about all the issues. I became very bothered by how people were just willing to use this program with so many issues. I didn’t want people to suffer from this and have done a lot of research into Zoom. Since my school started using Zoom—which made it harder for me to learn because I am not using Zoom—I decided to try to raise awareness of the issues with Zoom, and that’s how I got here. Besides researching video conferencing platforms, I also run my YouTube channel, iSkyler, explaining all sorts of Apple-related stuff. I have also always taken an interest in web development and programming and this has brought together my love of programming, web development and technology together into one project.

Some Security Issues & Responses

First "Zoom bombings" reported

March 17 | First news article I can find

The Verge Reporter Casey Newton and investor Hunter Walk hosted a public zoom call daily called WFH Happy Hour. A troll joined their call and began to screen share horrifying and inappropriate images to all the many participants. Although it probably happened before, this appears to be the first time it got mainstream media coverage, and it just grew from this point.

Zoom privacy policy exposes a lot of data

March 24 | Date of Discovery

The Zoom privacy policy for a while was very unrestrictive. It allowed them to use anything from your call: video, audio, screen sharing, names, messages and more. This presents the first major privacy concern of the COVID-Zoom time. This didn’t originally get much media coverage until a little later when there were other issues. Consumer Reports initially made the discovery and raised concerns about this. This could simply be a mistake from an inexperienced legal time, or it could be done with malintent.

iOS app sends data to Facebook

March 26 | Date of Discovery

The Zoom developers implemented the whole of the Facebook SDK into the app. This was done so they could have the login with Facebook button on their app. This meant that the Facebook SDK would start up with the app and collect data for Facebook. It’s hard to fully blame the developers here when Facebook is the one collecting the data, but they did implement this SDK into their app without fully checking to see what it could do. Maybe it’s simply a slip in their procedure or maybe a flaw in their procedure.

What else can I use?

Thanks for asking, I have collected a list of many different alternatives to Zoom. There are both free and paid software that can accommodate many different situations. Check out some of them by tapping, clicking or pressing the button below. Be careful though, you may even find one you like better than Zoom.