Zoom is now taboo in New York City schools. The video chat service, growing in popularity in the age of social distancing, has now become a security concern for teachers and students.
New York City teachers have been advised to stop using Zoom to connect with students over fears of security and privacy breaches.
In the case of Zoom, if a conference organizer shares a link in public and doesn’t take steps to limit access, anybody who sees the link can join the call — and do whatever they want on it.
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Officials from New York City's Department of Education say there have been several reports of security breaches including instances where strangers have been able to join chats. The department is reinforcing the use of Microsoft Teams instead and is instructing teachers to cease use of the Zoom application.
“Providing a safe and secure remote learning experience for our students is essential, and upon further review of security concerns, schools should move away from using Zoom as soon as possible. There are many new components to remote learning, and we are making real-time decisions in the best interest of our staff and student," a spokesperson for the department said.
Before the implementation of remote learning, all students in New York City schools were set up with Microsoft accounts.
On Monday, the office of New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, asked Zoom in a letter to describe any changes it has made after a software developer found that Zoom’s Mac app could turn on a person’s camera without permission, The New York Times reported.
Earlier this week, the FBI’s Boston division issued a warning on zoombombings. The agency had received reports of meetings getting interrupted with pornography, threats or hateful content and discouraged people from sharing links to meetings on social media.