May 11, 2020 / 6:56 PM / 23 days ago

U.S. FTC indicates it is looking at Zoom privacy woes

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joseph Simons testifies at Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budgets for the FCC and the FTC on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons indicated on Monday that the agency was looking at privacy complaints regarding Zoom Video Communications Inc.

In a teleconference with lawmakers, Simons made reference to concerns that Representative Jerry McNerney of California had about Zoom. McNerney and others had written a letter to Zoom expressing concerns about information collected about registered and non-registered users and recordings made by Zoom subscribers which may be stored in the cloud.

While not addressing the question of Zoom directly, Simons said the agency takes its complaints seriously.

“We are very happy to take complaints from any source,” he said. “If you’re reading about it (an issue) in the press, in the media, then you can be assured that we’re looking at it already or we will because of the media attention. If it’s out there in the media, we’re on it.”

An FTC probe would not necessarily find wrongdoing.

Simons was speaking to a teleconference with a subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Zoom has been one of the big beneficiaries of the new coronavirus lockdowns, with millions of workers and students using its video platform as they work and study from home.

But it has had growing pains. The company faced a backlash for failing to disclose that its service was not fully end-to-end encrypted and said it planned to develop tools that will give more controls to meeting hosts and allow users to securely join a meeting and submit them to external review.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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