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Amid Spate of Bans, Zoom Touts New Data Centre Choices

Unauthorised data across all free and priced accounts will be prevented from routing through China.

By claudia glover

Zoom will offer paying customers a choice of geographical region (in which their call data is handled) amid a spate of high profile bans driven by security concerns.

From April 18, Zoom will let paying customers choose from data centres in Australia, Canada, China, the EU, India, Japan/Hong Kong, Latin America or the US.

Chinese servers meanwhile will be geofenced to avoid their use by customers not explicitly opting in, the company said, after a storm over traffic getting routed through China. The move follows a major furore after a string of security issues were identified in the conferencing platform, and comes as Germany and Google ban its use.

From data leaks to encryption difficulties and, most recently, its use of Chinese servers during heavy traffic, Zoom’s security has been under the spotlight in recent weeks.

In response to the outcry at such vulnerabilities, including the Taiwanese Government banning them after learning that traffic was sometimes routed through Beijing, Zoom has been updating its security landscape, accommodating its customers in a bid to uphold its reputation throughout the pandemic.

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For users based in China, “if your account admin has not opted into the China data centre by April 25, your account will not be able to connect to our mainland China data centre for data transit” according to a statement released by Zoom late Monday.

Earlier this month Zoom also added a security button with numerous features that can be controlled by the host, including the hiding of meeting IDs and the locking of meetings to prevent Zoom Bombing.

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The company has also launched a series of “white box penetration tests”, enhanced its current bug bounty programme, and commenced a “CISO council”, bringing in a range of external experts in a bid to focus solely on security in coming months.

Zoom are not the only company rolling out new incentives to capture the surge in pandemic-driven traffic. From the end of April Microsoft Teams will release its new update, accommodating nine accounts within one meeting rather than four.

Earlier this month Google Hangouts also confirmed that Hangouts Meet is no longer a Hangouts product and will simply be known as Google Meet. In a statement released on April 7 they focused on secure connections and “how Google Meet keeps your video conferences protected”, in a possible bid to attract customers defecting from Zoom.

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