Zoom appoints Facebook’s former security chief as more organizations ban use

Zoom has created a security advisory council to help conduct a detailed review of its apps, with Alex Stamos as one of its members. Stamos was Facebook’s chief security officer from 2015 to 2018, and now researches and teaches on ‘the misuse of technology’ at Stanford …

Stamos explained in a Medium post how his appointment came about.

Last week, after I posted a series of tweets discussing the security challenges for Zoom and how they could respond, I got a phone call from Eric Yuan, Zoom’s founder and CEO.

We talked about the significant challenges his company was facing, both in responding to an incredible growth in users but also living up to the security expectations of the moment. He asked detailed and thoughtful questions of my experiences working at companies facing extreme crises, and I was impressed by his clear vision for Zoom as a trusted platform and his willingness to take aggressive action to get there.

He asked if I would be interested in helping Zoom build up its security, privacy and safety capabilities as an outside consultant, and I readily agreed.

He stresses that the role is that of a consultant and that he is not joining the company as an employee.

Facebook might not be the obvious place to go for privacy expertise, but Stamos does have excellent credentials on the security front. He has given a keynote address to the Black Hat Briefings, challenged the NSA on encryption backdoors, discovered vulnerabilities in macOS and been an expert witness on digital privacy matters for Google and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Meanwhile, the bans and clampdowns on the use of Zoom continue. Google yesterday banned employees from installing the app on work computers, and the US Senate has advised – but not required – senators to use alternative platforms.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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