Zoom only has access to the email id of the user, mobile number if it is a major customer and the billing address, Sameer Raje – Zoom, told India Today Tech in an exclusive conversation.
- Zoom says that it has limited access to user data.
- Zoom focusing on new features for India.
- Zoom believes video call is here to stay.
Zoom has once again stressed on the fact that it has access to limited user data and doesn’t share it with any third party apps. The statement comes days after Zoom Video Communications Inc agreed to pay $85 million and bolster its security practices settling a lawsuit claiming it violated users’ privacy rights by sharing personal data with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.
The platform only has access to the email id of the user, mobile number if it is a major customer and the billing address, Sameer Raje – GM and Head of India – Zoom, told India Today Tech in an exclusive conversation. Raje added that the company doesn’t even have the billing address if it is a free customer.
“Last year, we went through a massive learning, and took a lot of necessary steps. And we continued on that in terms of maintaining the privacy and security of our users. Last year, we had a lot of different set of users, using our platform. We didn’t know that the kind of things people would do like taking a screenshot and putting it on social media or a link for joining the meeting will be shared in a public forum,” he said.
Raje added that any organisation building software will have bugs or issues reported on its platforms but, what Zoom did differently was that it came out in the open and admitted its mistakes.
“We went on a 90-day plan where we fixed all those issues, not only that we formed a special Security Council brought on board with 30 plus chief security advisors from different organisations to take the feedback in terms of what is required, what is not required and fixed it,” he said.
Facing the post Covid-19 world
About 16 months ago, when the pandemic happened and most things were shut down, people and organisations were clueless on how to go about their business. That’s when Zoom emerged as a household name and provided a platform to connect with colleagues as well as family members. The platform has since seen a massive growth even though more competitors have come.
Now, Zoom faces a new challenge of maintaining the momentum as life starts to return to normal. Yes, the pandemic hasn’t gone anywhere and there are conversations around the third wave of Covid-19 but, as offices start opening up they will have to take a call on whether they still need a video calling platform or not.
Raje believes that video calls are here to stay even after the Covid-19 is gone. He said that a lot of people had started using video calling before the pandemic. The lockdown only forced not so tech-savvy people to start using then.
“Video suddenly become the new audio. Now, once mankind moves to a different kind of technology it’s very difficult to go back. It’s the same as telephones you won’t stop using one if you go back to offices. In fact, the usage is going to go up,” he explained.
Zoom has also gone through a transition from a video calling app to a complete collaboration platform in order to retain or add more users. Specific features have been introduced for organisations as well as students. The latest being the focus mode for students which allows them to concentrate during online classes.
Is hybrid the future?
Raje believes that even if things return to normal, most organisations will stick to a hybrid model of working. He said that the second wave of Covid-19 was a learning lesion for most organisations that started opening the offices, only to return to the Work from Home model again. Zoom has also started working on features that encourage a hybrid model.
“You can check your temperature even before you get into the office. We allow you to set up a virtual receptionist service. It’s like a virtual kiosk which is interacting with the visitors similarly. You can decide whether you want to get into a conference room. The focus mode we introduced recently was also a step in this direction,” he said.
Zoom also believes that there has been a change in the way enterprises choose their video calling platform. Raje said that when the pandemic happened people opted for the first solution available. However, when the pandemic continued, they started thinking of a proper strategy to allow employees to work from home.
Raje added that Tele Health is another sector which is rising and making use of video calls. He said that the platform will keep adding more features basis the feedback it gets from users.