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With so many schools closed, the Zoom video meeting app has become wildly popular among educators, but it's now under scrutiny for security and privacy issues. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
With so many schools closed, the Zoom video meeting app has become wildly popular among educators, but it's now under scrutiny for security and privacy issues.
School leaders in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas have announced they're discontinuing their use of the Zoom videoconferencing service for distance learning because of security, privacy, harassment and other concerns. And individual schools in Los Angeles and elsewhere are also switching to alternatives, like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and WebEx.
As NPR reported last week, the FBI issued a warning about incidents of school Zoom meetings being disrupted. There have been reports of racist and pornographic imagery being shown to young children. Some intrusions may originate with students pranking their classmates, but Gizmodo reported there are also organized "Zoombombing" campaigns online.
Zoom has soared in popularity as people around the world shelter in place to protect from the spreading coronavirus. Partly this is because Zoom meetings can be set up to be accessed from anywhere by anyone with just a web link — no account or software download required. But this ease of use also makes it easier for intruders to show up.
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