Zoom finally gets a much-needed security feature – but there’s a catch

Zoom
(Image credit: Shutterestock)
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From April 18, Zoom – the increasingly popular video conferencing service – will finally introduce an important security feature that many users have been asking for – the ability to choose what countries their virtual meetings are routed through.

While this is welcome news – Zoom’s increased popularity due to the coronavirus pandemic has put the service under scrutiny regarding its privacy and security policies – there is a fairly major catch, as only Zoom users who pay a subscription will be able to use the feature.

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Previously, Zoom came under a lot of criticism when it emerged that its calls are not using end-to-end encryption, and that calls are also being routed through countries – such as China – which could demand access to calls going through Zoom servers based in the country.

Zoom security – for a price

Zoom has 19 data centers based in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Latin America, Australia and China.

The new feature, which was announced in a blog post (opens in new tab), will allow paid customers to opt out of certain data center regions. However, they will not be able to change their default region – which is where the customer’s account is created, and for most Zoom users will be the US.

While this is a welcome change, people using the free version will not be able to choose which countries their calls are going through. However, in the blog post, Brendan Ittelson, the CTO of Zoom, promises that the “data of free users outside of China will never be routed through China”.

Zoom CEO Eric S Yuan has already had to apologize after numerous security vulnerabilities were found in the service. This move is welcome, but users of the free version of Zoom may feel disappointed to be left out.

Via Neowin (opens in new tab)


Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.