Containment and privacy are they a good combination ? This is the question faced today by many internet users who need to use video conference tools to keep in touch with their loved ones. Beyond the obvious of solutions that are WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, two new stars have arrived on the front of the stage : to Zoom in and Houseparty.

The first, used as a collaborative tool professional, has seen its number of calls to explode since the beginning of the containment up to drag it to the top of the rankings of free apps on iOS. Same story for Houseparty, which puts much more emphasis on the fun side and social calls in visio. The application, which belongs since last year Epic Games (the studio behind Fortnite), was also elevated in the 10 free apps most downloaded on iOS.

A rain of criticism for Zoom

But this celebrity sudden is accompanied by a hard back of the stick. The two applications are for a few days under the fire of criticism, because too little respect for the privacy of their audience. Already pointed the finger at the last year for a lack of security for its Mac software, Zoom is also criticised for its management of personal data.

The website Motherboard has unveiled a few days ago that the app iOS send data to Facebook, and then has shown that the application shared the e-mail address to internet users in a manner somewhat anarchic. Finally, the calls made by Zoom are not encrypted end-to-end as stated by the company. In addition, the service allows a thorough monitoring of the share of enterprises that use it ; therefore, the table is not really useful.

A storm of criticism, which is, in addition, accompanied by a surge in hacking attempts. In front of this delicate situation, Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, said that the development of new features would be stopped for the time being and that all the engineering effort will focus on the issues of privacy, trust and security.

Houseparty, criticized for its handling of personal data

On the side of Houseparty was the privacy policy that made cringe. In fact, it is written black on white that the company is free to use the content of any communications made using its services, including any ideas, inventions, concepts or techniques” for the purpose, among others, “develop, design, or sell goods and services”. Not to reassure anyone who runs his / her private life.

Clauses of this kind are not completely new in the world of social networks, but the time has changed and people are now more riding on their private life. Difficult to accept, therefore, the surrender of its personal data to an additional business, today.

To make matters worse, the app is also at the heart of a controversy concerning a smear campaign. Many internet users have commented on social networks that their accounts Spoitfy, Snapchat or Apple had been hacked, following the installation of Houseparty. Critics who do not like the company which announced that it would offer one million dollars to anyone who could prove that the accusations are the result of a campaign of false allegations launched by a competing company.

In fact, it is difficult to prove today that Houseparty is at the origin of hacks massive accounts, or even that these hackers have in fact taken place. But the evil seems to be beautiful and well done.