SINGAPORE has suspended the use of video-conferencing tool Zoom by teachers for home-schooling, following complaints that lewd images were transmitted.
Zoom has become an important product around the world during the Covid-19 crisis and is used in many ways, including in the field of education.
Singapore’s education ministry heard about some “very serious incidents” in the first week of its coronavirus lockdown that has seen schools move to home-based learning.
One of the incidents allegedly involved obscene images appearing on screens, and “strange men” making lewd comments during the streaming of a geography lesson with teenage girls.
The popularity of Zoom has led to questions being asked about privacy and safety issues involving its conferencing app.
It has seen a massive upward spike in users, as businesses and schools use it to try to maintain some sense of normal service during the coronavirus lockdowns.
“These are very serious incidents. The Education Ministry is currently investigating two breaches and will make a report to the police if necessary,” said Aaron Loh of the Ministry’s educational technology division.
“As a precautionary move, teachers will suspend their use of Zoom until these security issues are ironed out.”
Loh said that they would give advice to teachers on security rules such as requiring secure log-ins and not sharing the meeting link beyond the students in the class.
Germany and Germany have already put restrictions on Zoom’s use, and there have been reports of so-called ‘zoombombing’ when uninvited people log into conferences.