Zoom adds new security settings to let users have more control over their calls and stop routing traffic to China

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan
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Email Twitter: @robroyhobbs Apr 14th, 2020 inNews

Zoom leverages a robust global network to support users no matter where they are located, and that includes natively routing traffic to a meeting zone that will potentially provide the best performance for that call.  Because of that, Zoom has gotten into some hot waters and recently confirmed that some users were “mistakenly” routed through data centers in China.

While the company did move quickly to resolve any issues, many customers didn’t feel that it was enough.  Earlier this evening, Zoom released an email to paid users to confirm that starting on April 18th, customers will be able to customize which data center regions an account will use by simply opting in or out of a specific data center region for real-time meeting data in transit. In addition, Zoom admins and account owners of paid accounts can, at the account, group, or user level, opt in or out of specific data center regions.

Pictured below is an upcoming update to the Zoom web portal where users can set their preferences.
Zoom suggests that these features will let users have more control over their data and their interactions with the company’s global network. Zoom also notes that users will not be able to change or opt-out of their default region, which will be locked. The default region is the region where your account was provisioned with the majority of customers being in the United States.

More questions to answer

While the ability to route traffic inside of Zoom is a step in the right direction, there are still unresolved questions that will likely be answered in the weeks ahead to make the described routing change feel more complete. Many security experts and industry insiders have identified Zoom’s sub-standard encryption levels and processes as being the biggest security concern, as even with a routing change 3rd parties could still access and decrypt data from customer calls. The reason for this concern is focused on the questions of whether Zoom is obligated to share encryption keys with external 3rd parties and Chinese authorities since several key management servers are located in China.

While we don’t expect answers anytime soon, it is still good to see Zoom taking proactive measures to improve their service and gives customers more options to protect their data. For anyone interested in learning more about the upcoming routing changes, you can check out Zoom’s blog or attend the upcoming weekly “Ask Eric Anything” webinar on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. PT.

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