PLDT, Smart deny blocking Zoom video app

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 04 2020 10:46 PM

MANILA--Telecommunication company PLDT Inc. on Saturday denied it was blocking the Zoom videoconferencing application from its subscribers.

The company said a memo that has apparently gone public was addressed only to PLDT and Smart employees, a communication that was "issued following several widely circulated published reports about information security risks" linked to the app.

 

Zoom's daily users worldwide ballooned to more than 200 million in March from a previous maximum total of 10 million, its boss Eric Yuan earlier said, as it fought to dispel concerns over privacy and "Zoombombing".

The use of Zoom and other digital communications has soared with political parties, corporate offices, school districts, organizations and millions across the world working from home after lockdowns were enforced to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Digital learning coach Stephanie DeMichele credits the surge in Zoom use to fear of being disconnected from schools, friends, families and others in our lives.

"And here comes Zoom saying, 'It's free, available, and you won't feel isolated,'" said DeMichele. "So people grabbed onto it."

A "Zoombombing" phenomenon has sparked warnings about lax security, however.

Virtual intruders have interrupted religious ceremonies, remote classes, and other Zoom gatherings. In some cases, pornographic images have been displayed.

US media has reported that Zoom shares some data with third parties and questioned how well virtual meeting data is defended.

Yuan vowed this week to step up data security, and apologized.

-- With a report from Reuters, Agence France-Presse