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Google Meet is giving Zoom a run for virtual presence

By Saada Hassan | May 5th 2020
Google makes Meet video conferencing service free for users to counter Zoom Photo|Courtesy

Our new normal revolves within our home settings or compounds as reaching out to the rest of world is conerned. Zoom has dominated this space since Covid-19 pandemic began with its popularity rising from 10 million users daily in December to about 300 million users daily by April.

This attention has not gone unnoticed, rivals like Google and Microsoft are now climbing up to take part in this coveted space that has become the formal mode of communication in schools, work spaces or even casual settings like online birthday parties.

Google Meet, a video conferencing service which was previously Hangouts Meet will now be freely available to everyone who wants to use it.

From inception it was designed towards educational and enterprise needs but now with a simple google account you can hold your meeting for up-to 100 people a move aimed to counter Zoom’s popularity.

In the recent past Zoom has faced a myriad of accusations over “zoombombing” which is when an uninvited person joins a Zoom meeting.

Zoombombers have been known to hurl racial slurs or share pornography and other offensive imagery.
According to AFP the FBI has so far received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and hate images also threatening language.

According to Google, privacy and security are paramount.

“We designed Meet to operate on a secure foundation, providing the protections needed to keep our users safe, their data secure, and their information, “said Javier Soltero, VP of G Suite.

Some of the security measures taken up by google teams in designing Google Meet include;

Providing a strong set of host controls such as the ability to admit or deny entry to a meeting, and mute or remove participants if needed, refraining anonymous users (without a Google Account) to join meetings created by individual accounts, ensuring that Meet meeting codes are complex by default and therefore resilient to brute-force “guessing” and ensuring that Meet video meetings are encrypted in transit, and all recordings stored in Google Drive are encrypted in transit and at rest.

According to an article by the Independent Zoom had admitted to sharing user data with Facebook through its ‘Login with Facebook’ feature for iPhone and iPad users, but has been discontinued.

The Meet video conferencing for everyone is set to be rolled out this May.

Covid 19 Time Series


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