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NYC school district lifts ban on Zoom following privacy and security issues

Zoom app approved for NYC schools
Zoom app (Image credit: Shutterstock)

New York City's Department of Education has lifted the ban on Zoom. The school district announced Tuesday in conjunction with the videoconferencing company, that students and teachers will have access the Zoom app for remote learning and collaboration. 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom is one of the more commonly-used video calling apps for remote classes. However, Zoom's lack of security features exposed users to "Zoombombing" has raised privacy issues. In these online attacks, pranksters crash Zoom meetings and display pornography and other inappropriate images to other attendees. 

After the rise of privacy and security concerns, the Zoom app is now updated with a host of fixes. Now, when students access Zoom, its privacy and security settings are enabled by default.

"We are pleased to announce that now, following several weeks of collaboration with the company, we are now able to offer Zoom as a safe, secure platform for use across the DOE. All schools and students will have free access to a central, secure DOE account for learning and collaboration. Our work with Zoom included reaching an agreement about data encryption and storage, creating settings for our platform to make sure only DOE participants and specifically invited guests can enter classrooms or meetings and giving meeting hosts more control over their classrooms and meetings.", NYC Department of Education chancellor Richard A. Carranza, said in a message to families.

"As we enter a new month, we continue to work to equip all of you, our families and our school communities, with the information, tools, and resources that you need for remote learning as we fight the COVID-19 pandemic together as a City", Carranza said.