Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns across the world, people are having to maintain social distancing and work from home. This led to a meteoric rise in the use of video calling and video conferencing apps like Houseparty and Zoom, but they also faced severe data security issues. Now, Mozilla has published a report which rates the most popular video calling apps.
Mozilla is one of the world’s most esteemed internet associations, and the non-profit company sets the policies and looks after the design and development of the open-source web. After looking at all the data security issues among video calling apps, Mozilla evaluated all the popular video conferencing apps and published its report. It praises Apple’s FaceTime for its data security and encryption techniques.
The report notes which apps pass the privacy-focused company’s minimum security standards and those that do not. Among the apps that pass Mozilla’s security standards are Cisco Webex, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, Google Duo, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Jitsi Meet, LogMeIn GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Signal, Skype, Verizon BlueJeans, and Zoom. The video calling apps that didn’t pass the security standards are Discord, Doxy.me, and Houseparty.
Most of the popular video calling apps turned out to be pretty secure for most people. To pass Mozilla’s security standards, apps must use encryption and require strong passwords. Those apps must also provide automatic security updates, manage security vulnerabilities through bug bounty programs, have an easy option to report bugs and security concerns, and have clear privacy policies.
The report gave an impressive 4.5/5 rating to FaceTime. The video calling app’s privacy was praised. It was also among the only two apps that have end-to-end encryption. This means that only the people inside the video call can access the call’s content, and even Apple can’t access the data even if it wants to. The only other app offering end-to-end encryption is Signal. FaceTime was marked down due to the lack of required passwords when making a person-to-person call.
Despite Zoom’s recent privacy and user data security concerns, the video calling app scored a perfect 5/5 rating. Mozilla says that although the app had security issues, Zoom has come clean by acknowledging its mistakes and is working hard to fix those issues. Mozilla is working with Zoom to get its privacy and security features right for the company’s internal use.
Discord and Houseparty were criticized for the lack of requirements for a strong password. Hence, Mozilla isn’t advising people to use those two apps. Doxy.me fared the worst, and it works only through a web browser and puts the onus on the web browser to maintain security and privacy. It also only works on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Users would have to keep their web browsers updated. Plus, there are no requirements for a strong password and no clear guidance as to how it manages security vulnerabilities.[Source: Mozilla]