People have used the video conference app for everything from brunches and birthday parties to religious events and even a UK cabinet meeting. But the spike in popularity has led the company to quickly find itself dealing with many of the issues that have plagued larger online platforms, particularly around privacy.
The controversy has hit Zoom’s previously meteoric stock price, which had nearly doubled since the end of January but closed 11% lower on Thursday and has fallen around 24% this week.
Yuan said Zoom was created mainly for “large institutions with full IT support” such as universities, government agencies and financial services companies.
“We did not design the product with the foresight that, in a matter of weeks, every person in the world would suddenly be working, studying, and socializing from home,” he added. “We now have a much broader set of users who are utilizing our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges we did not anticipate.”
Zoom also apologized for its misleading claim that it offers “end-to-end encryption for all meetings,” which would mean that all content on its platform is visible only to participants. Some security experts expressed doubt about Zoom’s ability to provide that level of encryption, saying the type of encryption it provides would allow the company to access some information through its servers.
“While we never intended to deceive any of our customers, we recognize that there is a discrepancy between the commonly accepted definition of end-to-end encryption and how we were using it,” Gal said.