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Zoom vs. Accession: Important Points on Security & Data Privacy

 

In response to COVID-19, many local businesses are utilizing Northland's free video conferencing and hosted phone software, Accession, to stay connected. Conducting business virtually has raised new concerns about security and data privacy, particularly in response to recent news about Zoom’s mass-market offering.

 

Northland's Accession Meeting product leverages some technology from Zoom and looks identical to the platform at first glance, offering users the ability to host up to 100-participant meetings (with no time limits), collaborate, make phone calls, instant message colleagues, and more (100% free).

Since learning of the Zoom concerns, Northland has been working closely with its technology partners at Metaswitch to understand exactly how Zoom technology integrates with Accession and ensure we’re meeting carrier-grade security and data privacy requirements. As a result of this, Northland has concluded that many of the Zoom issues reported to date do not affect Accession customers. In particular:

 

1. Accession is separate from Zoom’s mass-market service.

Accession Meeting is delivered from a dedicated, private instance of Zoom’s software—separate from their mass-market service. This is hosted solely in the United States, with separate user database, control software, and media resources

 

2. Our strong integration minimizes Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

Accession Meeting’s strong integration with our unified communication solution minimizes the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that is provisioned into the private meeting instance. Further, Zoom has confirmed that they do not share or sell any user data from Accession Meeting dedicated instances.

 

3. Meeting recordings are not permitted in the cloud.

Accession Meeting does not permit meeting recordings to be saved in the cloud, avoiding many related PII issues.

 

4. Accession limits users to in-meeting-only video functionality.

Accession Meeting utilizes in-meeting-only video functionality. It does not use the Zoom “chat” or “contacts” components – which are among those affected.

 

5. Northland controls the end-user client.

We control the end-user client, meaning that no third-party services are involved in user authentication. This removes ancillary components from the installation process.

 

These foundations have made a significant difference in regards to security. For example, Northland is not aware of any “Zoombombing” attempts against Accession Meeting users, nor was it affected by any reported Facebook or LinkedIn issues to date.

 

For more information about Northland's free Accession video conferencing and hosted phone software, or to request free licenses, visit www.northland.net/teleworking.

Post Date

Apr 20th 2020