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Plea in SC seeks ban on Zoom app until appropriate legislation is put in place

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Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A petition in the Supreme Court has raised privacy concerns over communications app 'Zoom' and sought a direction to the Centre to ban its use for official as well as personal purposes until an appropriate legislation is put in place.

Claiming that continued use of this app is "making the users vulnerable and prone to cyber threats", the plea has sought a direction to the Centre to carry out an exhaustive technical study into the security and privacy risks of using Zoom application.

The plea, filed by a Delhi-based Harsh Chugh, has alleged that continued usage of this app might put the national security at stake and might also give a boom to number of cyber-threats and cyber crimes in India.

"The global COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reshaped the way in which consumers, businesses and schools communicate. Rather than lending a hand to people in need, Zoom violates the privacy of its millions of users by misusing and exploiting their personal information and falsely, deceptively and misleadingly advertising fictitious security benefits of the program," said the plea, filed through advocate Wajeeh Shafiq.

The plea has alleged that Zoom app "practices data hoarding and cyber hoarding" which includes mass storage of personal data of its users and stores cloud recordings, instant messages and files.

"Zoom is reported to have a bug that can be abused intentionally to leak information of users to third parties. The app has falsely claiming calls are end-to-end encrypted when they are not," the plea said while claiming that Zoom had also apologised publicly for "mistakenly routing traffic through China" where internet is heavily monitored by the government.

It alleged that Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the nodal cyber security agency, has also warned Zoom users of cyber risks.

The plea said that due to privacy and security concerns, several organizations across the world have banned the use of Zoom app.

Claiming that cyberspace risk is increasing everyday due to global connectivity and online services which makes it easier to hack and access sensitive data of users, the plea said it is not that difficult to hack if a secure network is not used.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 19:35 IST