The Zoom logo, with a black padlock
The Zoom logo, with a black padlock

Summary: In the early 2000s, Microsoft faced challenges similar to the ones Zoom’s looking at today, and successfully turned things around. Some of the key lessons from Microsoft’s experiences include

  • Think broadly about “trust”
  • Make trust the product teams’ responsibility
  • Fix your privacy practices and policies
  • Do threat modeling
  • Use the tools — and develop new ones
  • Learn from your experiences
  • It’s a social problem, not just “technical”
  • It may take a while to address — but there’s a big potential upside

The Twitter thread includes a longer summary and some discussion.

A tough time for Zoom

After a great start to the year, with usage soaring as people around the world stay home, the last few weeks have been a really tough time for Zoom. The company has always focused on convenience and usability. Now, they’re dealing with the consequences of not having paid much attention to security and…

The Zoom logo with a padlock over it
The Zoom logo with a padlock over it

Last updated: August 30. Originally published April 2.

Zoombombing remains a problem; see Prof. Anima Anandkumar’s thread about her KDD keynote from late August. If you’re using Zoom, the Global Forum for Media Development’s “Zoom-bombing” prevention & resources guide has some solid recommendations, and so does How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event on Zoom’s blog. Zoom continues to fix security problems, so please make sure you have the latest software — but be careful of malware.

With online organizing as the only short-term option, Zoom has become increasingly popular for activism groups. There’s a lot to like about Zoom: it’s easy to use, it provides phone access as well as video, their free plan allows unlimited meetings, you can use it without an account or sign in and use a pseudonym, it’s got useful functionality like breakout rooms. …

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Here’s House ITED Committee Ranking Member Norma Smith’s statement. This is a huge victory! Thanks to the Tech Fairness Coalition for leading the resistance, ACLU Washington, all the activists and advocates across the state and nationally who got involved, and the state legislators on both sides of the aisle who had the courage to vote NO in the teeth of the most intense lobbying by the tech industry Olympia has ever experienced!

The rest of this post is the action alert we sent out early today. …


Jon Pincus

strategist, software engineer, entrepreneur, activist ...

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