Zoom removes meeting IDs from app title bar to improve privacy

Zoom app won't show meeting ID in the title bar going forward to avoid accidental leaks and Zoom-bombing disruptions.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor on
Image: Boris Johnson Twitter account

Video conferencing service Zoom has released an update for its Linux, Mac, and Windows apps that removes the meeting ID from the app's title bar.

The update comes after the company's users have often leaked their meeting IDs, and even meeting passwords, when sharing screenshots of their meetings on social media.

Famous incidents include when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson shared the meeting ID of a UK cabinet meeting, and when members of the Belgium Parliament accidentally exposed the meeting ID and the password of a Defense committee.

When meeting IDs are leaked this way, this often leads to something called Zoom-bombing, a new type of online trolling that became popular in recent weeks.

Zoom-bombing usually takes place because trolls search the internet for leaked meeting IDs, connect uninvited to Zoom conferences, and disturb meetings by hurling insults, playing pornographic content on the meeting video stream, or making threats to other attendees.

By hiding the meeting ID, Zoom hopes to curb down on Zoom-bombing raids that have plagued many of its users.

According to the Zoom app changelog, the meeting ID has now been moved from the title bar to a drop-down panel that appears when clicking the "info" icon, in the top-left panel of each Zoom app.

A new Security security section in the Zoom appp

In addition, Zoom has also made managing security-related settings easier for meeting hosts. Starting with this week's update, the Zoom app now has a dedicated Security icon in the control panel where the meeting organizer can manage all security settings from one place, rather than bounce around different screens.

"This includes locking the meeting, enabling Waiting Room, and more. Users can also now enable Waiting Room in a meeting, even if the feature was turned off before the start of the meeting," Zoom said.

The new security-centric updates are no coincidence. More than a week ago, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan penned a blog post promising to pause work on all new features and re-focus on improving the Zoom app's privacy and security features. Yuan made the pledge after security researchers discovered and pointed out a slew of vulnerabilities and privacy issues with the app.

Zoom shipped its first update to address these issues last week when it fixed the reported security bugs, enabled Waiting Rooms by default for all future meetings, and mandated that all new conferences must require a password before joining.

These first updates had an immediate impact on the internet communities where trolls were organizing Zoom-bombing raids, many of which couldn't find new rooms to connect and troll participants.

This week's update to remove the meeting ID from such a prominent spot like the app title bar is expected to curb down this practive even more.

Yesterday, Zoom made another move to boost the company's security posture by announcing a new CISO Council and Advisory Board that will advise the current CEO on security topics. In addition, the company also hired former Facebook and Yahoo CSO Alex Stamos as an outside consultant.

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