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Irish data protection commissioner liaises with European colleagues over Zoom concerns

 

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'A spokeswoman for the DPC said the agency was aware of reports regarding breaches of conference calls in Ireland.' Stock Image: Getty

'A spokeswoman for the DPC said the agency was aware of reports regarding breaches of conference calls in Ireland.' Stock Image: Getty

Getty Images/Blend Images

'A spokeswoman for the DPC said the agency was aware of reports regarding breaches of conference calls in Ireland.' Stock Image: Getty

The Data Protection Commission (DPC), the Irish data supervisory authority headed up by Helen Dixon, has asked other data protection authorities for information regarding Zoom, the US-based video conferencing system.

A move by the DPC to speak with partners across Europe about Zoom follows reports globally of data breaches, where third parties were accessing or hacking into conference calls.

In Ireland, one breach involved juvenile sessions for Dublin GAA side Ballymun Kickhams. Coaches for the side were preparing for a 'nursery session' on the app, when "totally inappropriate" images were posted on the club's account.

The GAA subsequently told clubs to avoid the use of Zoom, which has exploded in popularity across the country as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

A spokeswoman for the DPC said the agency was aware of reports regarding breaches of conference calls in Ireland.

"We've had very few queries about Zoom, but are aware of all of the coverage," she said. "We have reached out to our colleagues in other European data protection authorities to see what is happening across the EU."

The DPC confirmed it had published a blog with tips for both individuals and organisations on how to use video conferencing apps safely. The blog is available on the data watchdog's website.

In response to questions from the Sunday Independent, a spokesman for Zoom said the US-based company was "deeply upset" by the increasing reports of harassment on the platform.

"We are listening to our community of users to help us evolve our approach and help our users guard against these attacks," he said.

"We are also continuing to proactively educate users on how they can protect their meetings from unwanted intruders, including through our offering of training, tutorials and webinars to help users understand their own account features and how to best use the platform."

Sunday Indo Business