Zoom has fixed one of the biggest complaints about its platform

Zoom meeting
Zoom meeting (Image credit: Zoom)

What you need to know

  • Zoom has fixed an issue with its service which saw data routed through China.
  • It had previously emerged that call data was sent to China even if all the participants were based in the US.
  • Zoom has now added controls for data routing for paid customers.

Update: Zoom reached out to us to clarify its latest blog post stating:

Zoom actually corrected the data routing issue on April 3rd (see Zoom's blog post on the topic). Importantly, Zoom's systems – for both free and paid customers – are designed to maintain geo-fencing around China, with the goal of ensuring that meeting data for users outside of China, stays outside of China.

**Zoom's most recent update, as detailed below, is designed to give paid users "further control" regarding where data is routed. **

Zoom has updated its platform to give paid users more control regarding data routing.

In a blog post Zoom stated:

Zoom's engineering teams continue to roll out enhanced security features for Zoom's industry-leading unified communications platform. Last week we wrote about new data routing options for your Zoom meetings, webinar, and chat data. The feature was released this weekend, and we'd like to explain a little more about how it works.Customers on paid accounts can now customize their data center settings with respect to real-time meeting traffic for Zoom Meetings and Zoom Video Webinars. As of April 18, Zoom admins and account owners of paid accounts can, at the account, group, or user level, opt-out of, or in to, specific data center regions with respect to data in transit. All paid admins can make regional selections in Account Settings. If you do not opt in to China by April 25, 2020, your account will not be able to connect to mainland China for data transit.

Security and privacy concerns were previously raised after it emerged that Zoom call data was being routed through China. Whilst this latest update brings selection for data centers globally, it is clearly meant to address this specific issue. Notably, Zoom has made China an 'opt-in' option, rather than opt-out, and customers who don't select China by April 25 won't be able to connect their account to China for data transit.

This will not stop people from any deselected region from joining your call, but Zoom notes there may be "some latency or performance issues." Zoom also noted that this does not apply to Zoom Phone or related features, only meeting and webinar traffic. The blog continues:

This data center option feature is designed to give you more control over your data and interaction with our global network and does not affect any data-at-rest locations. Long-term file storage is always in your home data center region. Additionally, you can view in the Zoom Dashboard the data center a client connects to, as well as any data centers connected to an HTTP Tunnel (HT) server if used. Housed in various public clouds and Zoom data centers, HT servers offer a connection point to clients unable to connect to the Zoom platform through other network channels. Zoom Conference Room Connector (CRC) data centers and gateways also are visible in the dashboard and in downloadable CSV files.

Zoom has also added new cloud recording password guidelines, linking accounts, voicemail PIN and call recording access updates over the weekend. You can read the full report here.

Stephen Warwick