Six months ago, Zoom was a buttoned-down, business-focused video-chat tool with 10 million daily users — but by March, its user-base had surged to over 200 million as the coronavirus pandemic drove countless organizations to move online. Almost overnight, Zoom became not just a household name but a generation-defining cultural touchstone, and its stock price more than tripled.
The upshot: serious damage to Zoom’s brand, with corporations banning employees from the service, irate users filing lawsuits, and regulators launching a flurry of investigations. “We have fallen short of the community’s — and our own — privacy and security expectations,” admitted CEO Eric Yuan. “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.”
1. Compliance is just the beginning
2. Keep it simple
3. Make your policy a no-spin zone
4. Sweat the small stuff
5. Think of the children
6. Put your money where your mouth is
Make privacy a priority
It’s easy to sympathize with Zoom. After all, how many startup CEOs can say, hand on heart, that they could handle a twentyfold growth surge without a few growing pains? Ultimately, though, Zoom’s privacy problems were an unforced error. Digital startups are built for rapid growth, so there’s no excuse for having privacy policies that aren’t future-proofed.