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Zoom Is Being Investigated By U.S. Prosecutors For Privacy Practices

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InputMag has reported that Zoom is being investigated. The Zoom investigation by U.S. prosecutors and regulators is in regards to its interactions with China. Concerns pertaining to privacy practices are also a focus of the investigation.

The announcement comes after a former employee based in China was charged by the Department of Justice. The DOJ charged Xinjiang Jin with harassment for disrupting a gathering on Zoom. The gathering was commemorating the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Zoom is less than excited with the DOJ according to their response. Zoom does host servers in China which has put it in the government's line of fire. However, in order to operate in China, the company must have servers in there.

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Zoom investigation by U.S. prosecutors explained

The DOJ accuses Xinjiang of collecting personal information on dissidents outside of the country. The information collected was on people who participated in Tiananmen calls. This accusation is the opposite of what Zoom says which is that they have stopped routing calls through China for users outside of the country.

The subpoena was received by Zoom even though they are not directly charged in the case. However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York requests information. The information is in regards to Zoom’s interactions with foreign governments. Prosecutors need more information on how the company stores its user data and actions around the Tiananmen meetings.

This case comes on the heels of the Department of Homeland Security’s business advisory against working with Chinese companies. Even though the financial benefits of using Chinese services are tremendous, many companies opt to avoid the headache that comes with this.

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On the other hand, companies such as ByteDance disconnects information on foreign users from their services. However, this still allows them to comply with Chinese officials' demands. TikTok is an example of this.

In October Zoom began offering end-to-end encrypted calls for the first time. This was a move to improve privacy for users. Zoom originally said the services were end-to-end encrypted before. Originally only text chats were end-to-end encrypted.

Thanks to the pandemic Zoom has undeniably been a useful tool for many people around the world. Many people worldwide use Zoom for many things. People use zoom to maintain both their social and professional lives.

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The company’s stock has grown significantly during this year. As a result, it has evolved into a verb such as Googling or FaceTiming. Zooming has become the new norm in 2020 and looks to continue being a normal part of life in 2021.