SpaceX reportedly bans use of Zoom videoconferencing app by employees

Email sent to employees cites "significant privacy and security concerns," Reuters reports.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil

SpaceX has reported told employees they can't use the Zoom videoconferencing app.

Sarah Tew/CNET

SpaceX has prohibited employees from using the videoconferencing app Zoom, citing "significant privacy and security concerns," Reuters reported Wednesday.

As the novel coronavirus causing a surge in work- and learn-from-home activity, Zoom has quickly become the video meeting app of choice. An email sent to employees on Saturday said that all access to Zoom had been disabled.

"We understand that many of us were using this tool for conferences and meeting support," SpaceX said in the email seen by Reuters. "Please use email, text or phone as alternate means of communication."

With Zoom's increased popularity, its security practices have also drawn more attention, from built-in attention-tracking features to recent upticks in "Zoom-bombing," in which uninvited attendees break into and disrupt meetings.

On Monday, those practices drew the scrutiny of New York's Attorney General Letitia James. James's office sent Zoom a letter outlining privacy vulnerability concerns and asking what steps, if any, the company has put in place to keep users safe, given the increased traffic on its network. By Wednesday, security researchers had uncovered another two bugs that could allow hackers to take control of webcams and microphones on Zoom users' Macs. 

Neither Zoom nor SpaceX responded to a request for comment.