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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Pea in SC to ban Zoom for privacy breach, security issues

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A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on “Zoom“, a popular software application for video-telephony, until formulation of an appropriate legislation.

Petitioner Harsh Chugh argued that software application is not safe and does not have end-to-end encryption, and as a consequence, it is violating the Information Technology Act 2000 and Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009.

“The reliefs which are sought in the present petition are urgent in view of the penetration of offending software increasing with each day and as the concern raised in the present petition have pan-India ramifications,” said the plea.

The plea submitted that the software application is a threat to individual’s privacy and cited that the CEO of Zoom Video Communications has already “apologised publicly and accepted the app to be faulty in terms of providing a secure environment digitally which is against the norms of cyber security”. As a result, the petitioner contends the software application is prone to hacking and cyber breaches, which have already been reported.

Therefore, the petition has also impleaded other stakeholders responsible – the Centre through the Ministry of Electronics & IT and Cyber & Information Security Division of MHA.

The plea argued that Zoom App practices data hoarding and cyber hoarding, and also issues of unauthorised access termed as “zoom-bombing”, where a stranger can join Zoom meetings and share objectionable content. “That it is important to realize how Zoom consistently violates its duty to implement and maintain reasonable security practices, and misleads consumers about the security benefits of the product. Zoom has targeted consumers, businesses, and schools….,” said the plea.

The plea contends that it is important to put in place a standard regulation to safeguard the rights of the citizens.

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