Zoom Video (NASDAQ: ZM), the popular video conferencing platform, has seen its usage skyrocket amid the COVID-19 pandemic as hundreds of millions of people are sheltering in place, working from home, and trying to manage distance learning while schools are closed.
In a Wednesday blog post addressing "Zoombombing" and other security issues, co-founder and CEO Eric Yuan noted that in March, Zoom the number of daily meeting participants on the platform -- both free and paid -- topped 200 million. To put that in context, as of the end of December, its peak number of daily meeting participants was around 10 million. Since late February, educators from more than 90,000 schools across 20 countries have begun using Zoom to teach their students remotely.
Video conferencing services generally have experienced steep rises in usage as the COVID-19 pandemic spread. But with Zoom's rapid adoption have come numerous reports of hackers taking over video calls, harassing users, and otherwise abusing the tool. That led New York Attorney General Letitia James to ask the company to provide more information about its security enhancements.
"For the past several weeks, supporting this influx of users has been a tremendous undertaking and our sole focus," wrote Yuan. "However, we recognize that we have fallen short of the community's -- and our own -- privacy and security expectations."
He pointed out that Zoom was built mainly for enterprise customers, but now has a much broader set of users that it had not anticipated. Over the next 90 days, said Yuan, the company will focus on better identifying, addressing and fixing issues with the platform. Yuan vowed to be transparent throughout the process: Starting next week, he will host a weekly webinar to provide privacy and security updates.
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