Greetings from Portsmouth, New Hampshire!
As countless others have done since the COVID-19 pandemic began, I have been watching a lot of TV shows and movies as I practice social distancing. It seems one of the most popular movies people have been renting is “Contagion,” a 2011 Steven Soderberg movie about a virus that spreads across the globe. I have no idea why anyone would voluntarily watch this right now. What are people looking for? Survival clues? Perspective? Matt Damon? Sorry, that sounds absolutely dreadful. I’ll take a healthy dose of escapism with “Schitt’s Creek” and “New Girl” episodes thank you.
We’ve all had to make drastic readjustments in light of the pandemic. One of those changes has included working from home. While remote working has its typical challenges, which can range from having the kids at home to resisting the temptation to play video games, this new digital environment has raised a fair share of privacy concerns.
A big part of that conversation focuses on the Zoom video conferencing platform. Zoom has seen a surge in users since the pandemic began, however, its newfound popularity has also come with a series of questions. Zoom’s privacy practices have been placed under the microscope, and in response, schools have banned the platform and Senators have been advised to seek other methods of communication. Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said his company will continue to focus on privacy as it takes on its new user base amid our new reality.
This doesn’t even get into “zoombombing,” which continues the time-honored tradition of internet trolls doing what they do “best.”
Video conferencing platforms may be the talk of the (virtual) town, but there are other privacy considerations to be mindful of as we move onto month two of social distancing. Employees have to be mindful of the sensitive information they have in their possession to ensure they do not commit any privacy violations from the comfort of their own home.
I spoke with Spirion CEO Kevin Coppins for a Privacy Tech piece I wrote last week on the topic. He said employees accidentally mishandle data all the time in a corporate environment, and with everyone working remotely, “it’s going to [happen] 10 or 12 times more based on the environment we are in."
We could be in this situation for a while. Already we’ve seen privacy issues ranging from location tracking to the ones I’ve mentioned above. It’s probably a safe bet that we will see more privacy questions appear as we adjust to this new normal, as well as more once we begin to see some semblance of normalcy return to the world.
Until then, make sure to stay safe.
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