International News Apr 4, 2020 7:15 PM EST

Videoconferencing app Zoom routed user data through China by 'mistake'

The popular videoconferencing app Zoom admitted that it accidentally routed user data through China recently.

Videoconferencing app Zoom routed user data through China by 'mistake'
Barrett Wilson Montreal, QC
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The popular videoconferencing app Zoom admitted that it accidentally routed user data through China recently.

Zoom is used by the British government to communicate and hold meetings during the COVID-19 outbreak. Canada is also heavily reliant on Zoom at present. The BC government's ministry of education purchased Zoom licenses for its classrooms during the pandemic and countless Canadian public and private entities use Zoom for communication due to social distancing measures.

According to the Financial Times, the company admitted on Friday that "certain meetings held by its non-Chinese users" may have been “allowed to connect to systems in China, where they should not have been able to connect.”

Further, the Financial Times reports that "Zoom has significant operations in China, including a research and development department with more than 700 staff, which it has cast as a bid to keep personnel costs low."  

Across the world there is increasing concern regarding Zoom's proximity to the communist Chinese regime and its numerous security and privacy issues. Research from Citizen lab revealed that data was being sent by Zoom to servers in Beijing.

“A company primarily catering to North American clients that sometimes distributes encryption keys through servers in China is potentially concerning, given that Zoom may be legally obligated to disclose these keys to authorities in China,” Citizen Lab said in a report.

“An app with easily identifiable limitations in cryptography, security issues, and offshore servers located in China which handle meeting keys presents a clear target to reasonably well-resourced nation state attackers, including the People’s Republic of China.”

Zoom claims that this flaw is now fixed.

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