India top court agrees to hear petition banning Zoom video calls


  • India
  • Friday, 22 May 2020

The court’s order adds to the troubles for the California-headquartered video conferencing software maker. Zoom saw a dramatic rise in users as millions of people across the globe were forced to stay indoors during lockdowns. However, privacy and security concerns soon surfaced and forced Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the New York City Department of Education and the government of Taiwan to ban its use. — Bloomberg

India’s top court has agreed to examine whether Zoom Video Communications Inc’s video conferencing software should be banned in India owing to privacy and data security concerns.

A three-judge panel of the Supreme Court issued notices to the federal government and Zoom Video seeking their written responses, the petitioner’s lawyer Wajeeh Shafiq said by phone.

The court’s order adds to the troubles for the California-headquartered video conferencing software maker. Zoom saw a dramatic rise in users as millions of people across the globe were forced to stay indoors during lockdowns. However, privacy and security concerns soon surfaced and forced Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the New York City Department of Education and the government of Taiwan to ban its use.

In April, Zoom’s chief executive officer Eric S. Yuan apologised for the lapses in a blog post.

"We recognise that we have fallen short of the community’s – and our own – privacy and security expectations,” he said.

The court will resume hearing the petition by Harsh Chug, a Delhi-based tutor, after four weeks. Chugh seeks a detailed study by the government into the security risks and to ban Zoom Video until legislation on data protection is in place. The court is conducting hearings via video conferencing as India is under lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

An email to Zoom Video seeking comment, sent outside of US business hours, was unanswered. – Bloomberg

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