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Google bans Zoom on employee laptops

Tech giant cites security concerns in an internal email as the backlash against the videoconferencing service continues

Google has become the latest organisation to ban videoconferencing app Zoom over security concerns.

The tech giant sent an internal email to employees last week, according to BuzzFeed, warning that Zoom's app would no longer work on their laptops.

Zoom, which is a competitor to Google's own Meet and Hangouts services, has seen a spike in usage following the coronavirus lockdown, but the mass adoption has brought greater scrutiny of the service and a number of security flaws have come to the fore.

The issues being reported with Zoom range from its standard of encryption to its resistance to hacking, but Google hasn't specified which area it is concerned about.

"We have long had a policy of not allowing employees to use unapproved apps for work that are outside of our corporate network," a Google spokesperson, told BuzzFeed

"Recently, our security team informed employees using Zoom Desktop Client that it will no longer run on corporate computers as it does not meet our security standards for apps used by our employees."

Employees are still allowed to use the service to stay in touch with family and friends via a web browser or via mobile, but Google has added its name to a growing list of organisations – as well as entire countries – that have moved to ban the software.

The company has owned up to many of the faults it's accused off. It's CEO Eric Yuan suggested the company has simply moved "too fast" and were not able to put in place the required level of enterprise security. He also said the company's new goal was to become a "security-first" organisation.

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One of its first big changes in this regard is the removal of the meeting ID from the app's title bar. This has come in an update to its Linux, Mac and Windows apps and follows on from reports of 'Zoom bombing', where uninvited guests were crashing meetings.

The UK's Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, recently posted a screenshot of a cabinet meeting over Zoom – with the ID visible to his 2.2 million Twitter followers.

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