One neat plug-in from your browser, to join Zoom calls -->
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    One neat plug-in from your browser, to join Zoom calls

    Monday, March 23, 2020, March 23, 2020 EDT Last Updated 2020-03-24T05:30:00Z
    Do you want to join a Zoom meeting in the browser without having to download your application to do so? Take a look at this browser plugin that tackles the unnecessary friction that the video conferencing company has generated in the process of leveraging its web client.

    As we noted last week, Zoom has a zero download option - it just hides it nicely, preferring to push people to download their app. It is quite annoying to say the least. Some have even called it irresponsible, during the coronavirus pandemic, given the number of people who are suddenly forced to work from home, where they may be using locked corporate laptops that don't allow them to download applications.

    Software engineer Arkadiy Tetelman, currently head of appsec / infrasec at US mobile bank Chime, was one of those who resented Zoom by hiding the option to join via browser. So he put together this nice little extension of the Zoom Redirector browser that "transparently redirects any meeting link to use the Zoom browser-based web client," as it puts it on Github.

    "By joining a Zoom meeting, the 'join from your browser' link is intentionally hidden," he says. "This browser extension solves this problem by transparently redirecting meeting links to use Zoom's browser-based web client."

    So far the extension is available for Chrome and Firefox. At the time of writing, submissions are listed as pending for Opera and Edge.

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    As others have noted, it is still possible to perform a redirect manually, by adding your meeting ID to a Zoom web client link: specifyyour-meeting-id}. But if you are asked to join a Zoom meeting group, it is clearly much more convenient for a browser plugin to make an effort for you versus loading and pasting meeting IDs.

    While the COVID-19 pandemic has generally fueled the use of video conferencing, Zoom appears to be an early beneficiary, with the app enjoying a viral boom (in the digital sense of the term) in recent weeks that has been excellent for growth. of earnings (if not immediately at the price of your share when you reported your fourth quarter reward). And, unsurprisingly, he is forecasting an excellent year.

    But it's not all about positive vibes or Zoom right now. Another area where the company has faced critical attention in recent days is related to user privacy.

    Over the weekend, another Twitter user, following the name of @ouren, posted a critical thread that generated thousands of likes and retweets, detailing how Zoom can track activity on the user's computer, including collecting data. about what other programs are running and what windows the user has in the foreground.

    The thread included a link to an EFF article about the privacy risks of remote working tools, including Zoom.

    "The host of a Zoom call has the ability to monitor attendee activities while screen sharing," the digital rights group warned. "This functionality is available in Zoom version 4.0 and higher. If meeting attendees do not have the Zoom video window in focus during a call where the host shares the screen, after 30 seconds the host can see indicators next to the name of each person. participant indicating that the Zoom window is not active. "

    Given the sudden surge in attention to privacy, Zoom chimed in with an official response, writing that the "attention tracking feature is disabled by default."

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    "Once enabled, hosts can tell if participants have the app open and active when the screen sharing feature is in use," he added. "It doesn't track any aspect of your audio / video or other applications in your window."

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