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How safe is Zoom? And how is our privacy protected when we meet on digital platforms?

Director of IT Division Tore Burheim says the University of Bergen pays full attention to the security of the software we use.

Digitalt møte illustrasjon
Meetings and teaching are on digital platforms at the University of Bergen.

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Due to the corona situation, the University of Bergen has closed campus. Meetings and teaching take place on digital platforms. One of the increasingly used tools is Zoom, and some have questions about the privacy and security on this platform. Here the university`s Director of IT division, Tore Burheim, answers frequently asked questions.

Is Zoom safe to Use?

- Yes, it should be safe to use Zoom. The Nordic universities have their own installation of Zoom running at a data center in Stockholm. Privacy and security have been assessed by both UiB, Uninett, UiO, NorSIS and others, and found it to be good enough. The entire sector is following this closely.

Can unauthorized persons join the meetings?

- To join a meeting, you must have the meeting ID. The ID number is included in the notice and if you do not share it with anyone other than the one who is joining the meeting, you can be pretty sure that no one else will join. As a meeting host, you can also see a list of meeting participants, and possibly disconnect participants who are not supposed to be there. UiB has set password protection for meetings as the default setting, but you can overwrite this if you are going to open meetings. In the settings, you can also choose that participants must enter a "waiting room" before the meeting host lets them into the meeting. It provides additional control.

How is my privacy protected?

- All Norwegian universities using Zoom are provided with the service by Uninett. Zoom provided by Uninett is in accordance with GDPR and Norwegian privacy law. Data is stored in Sweden. More information on this can be found on Uninett's website (Norwegian).

Can you record meetings in Zoom?

- Yes, you can record meetings and lectures in Zoom. But you can't record without being informed about it in advance. It is also optional if you want to participate with the use of video and / or sound during the session.

What should you think about when organizing or attending digital meetings?

- If you are an administrator or meeting leader, you should follow the list of meeting participants and keep track of who is in the meeting at all times. If you want better control over participants, it’s recommended to use the waiting room. If the meeting is to be recorded or streamed, it is important to also inform everyone about this. I will also recommend everyone, as always, to be careful not to click on links you don’t know. I also recommend everyone to read the IT department's "Safe behavior in digital meetings" (Norwegian).