In the age of remote work meetings, what are the privacy considerations for video conferencing for remote workers and employers?
We are in the age of remote meetings and interactions as social distancing became our new normal almost overnight, and this has brought with it a dependence on video meetings and the importance of privacy considerations for video conferencing. It is something we all think about, as we hop onto yet another video call, especially having seen news circulating on the issue. Communication technology companies like Zoom have been in the forefront of news and blog articles on the topic of privacy, as increased use has exposed hidden issues, and companies are forced to make changes to their policies and software to ensure compliance with national and international privacy regulations. Ian Hulme, the ICO’s Director of Assurance recently published guidelines and advice on navigating this new normal – the age of remote meetings for employers, business owners and managers.
Privacy and Security Settings.
One of the most important privacy considerations with regard to video conferencing is that of transparency. As with any other communication, users need to know how their data will be processed and must have choice and control in the matter. Restricted access, passwords and other privacy and security features like controlling who can share screens should be considered and communicated to employees before starting video conferencing.
Security can be compromised in video chat with phishing links and live chat features. While many of us are able to identify phishing links sent in emails, some people are being introduced to video conferencing for the first time in this era of remote meetings, or are simply not too familiar with video meetings. They are therefore not aware enough to spot phishing which may happen through a remote meeting. It is imperative that we remain vigilant against possible phishing by malicious users. Unexpected links should not be followed, especially when coming from an unrecognised source.
Video Conferencing that matches Company Policies.
Ian Hulme, director of Regulatory Assurance at the ICO, advises that video conferencing technology is checked against a company’s policies to make sure that they align. While many organisations quickly find solutions to their sudden need to function remotely with several employees spread over the city, country or globe, it is important to double check the tools that we resort to, to make sure that they match organisational policies.
Keeping up to date with software is one of the most effective security measures that we can take. Outdated software puts our data at risk. If using video conferencing apps, we need to ensure that all available software updates are applied regularly. If accessing video conferencing software through the web browser, the software for the web browser must also be kept up to date to protect data.
As with any business decision, the organisation’s decision on video conferencing solutions should be re-examined from time to time, to make sure that it is aligned with its policies and needs, and with any updates to laws and external policies.