Zoom teams up with security experts, including Facebook's former Chief Security Officer, to address privacy and safety

Zoom logo on a building

The privacy and security scandals that have blighted Zoom have already caused some users to look for alternatives, but the company seems serious about trying to address the issues that have sparked concern.

Having already issued an apology to users, Zoom CEO Eric S Yuan has now revealed that his company is collaborating with numerous big-name CISOs (chief information security officers) to ensure the implementation of security and privacy best practices. He also says that Facebook's former Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos, is joining the company as a security advisor.

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The announcement from Yuan comes just days after he announced a freeze on new features for Zoom as the company plans to spend three months fixing problems that have been found. He explains: "I am truly humbled that -- in less than a week after announcing our 90-day plan -- some of the most well-respected CISOs in the world have offered us their time and services. This includes CISOs from HSBC, NTT Data, Procore, and Ellie Mae, among others. The purpose of the CISO Council will be to engage with us in an ongoing dialogue about privacy, security, and technology issues and best practices -- to share ideas, and collaborate."

The upshot of this is that Zoom is setting up an advisory board and some of the CISOs will now serve as personal advisors for Yuan. Among the first members of the board are security leaders from VMware, Netflix, Uber and Electronic Arts.

In a blog post about the security drive, Yuan says:

One of the important commitments under our 90-day plan is to conduct a comprehensive security review of our platform, and third-party experts will be critical to this effort. To that end, Alex Stamos has joined Zoom as an outside advisor.

Alex is a widely respected expert on cybersecurity. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Stanford’s Freeman-Spogli Institute and a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution. Prior to joining Stanford, Alex served as the Chief Security Officer of Facebook, where he led a team charged with understanding and mitigating information security risks for the company’s 2.5 billion users.

In a post of his own, Stamos says:

I am not an employee or executive of Zoom and I don't speak for the company. I have refrained from any public comment on Zoom or discussions with journalists since my call with Eric, but in the interest of transparency I think it's important to disclose this work. I don’t do a lot of consulting these days; I am generally quite busy with my role at Stanford and I’m proud of the work that team has been doing during this critical time for disinformation. This opportunity to consult with Zoom was too interesting to pass up, however, and I thought I would explain why I have embraced this challenge.

As this is Wednesday, today also marks the first Zoom webinar covering security and privacy update. The webinar is open to all and kicks off at 10:00AM PT; you can register to take part here.

Image credit: Michael Vi / Shutterstock

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