I’m gearing up to begin offering workshops over Zoom, and although I’ve made the decision that I’m comfortable doing so, I think it’s worthwhile to talk about the risks- especially if I’m going to be asking others to join me on Zoom! This is a excerpt from a post I made on my Patreon, lightly edited for this context.
I want to talk a bit about the Zoom platform. As the use of Zoom has skyrocketed in the current pandemic, privacy and security issues have come to light, and I think it’s important that everyone have the chance to make informed choices.
The Guardian has a summary of criticism of Zoom and if you’re on FetLife, you may have read any of a number of posts there detailing the issues. On Wednesday, [Zoom’s CEO made a blog post acknowledging concerns][https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/04/01/a-message-to-our-users/] and committing to a 90 day freeze on new features in order to focus resources on trust, safety, and privacy issues. Unfortunately, I am not currently aware of platforms which offer similar functionality without these problems.
You do not need a Zoom account to join meetings, so if you have not yet created an account, you may wish to think about whether you want to do so and what information you wish to provide. If you do already have a Zoom account you want to use for kink events, please take a moment to check what name you have provided, as it will be visible to other attendees.
One issue which is currently getting a lot of press is “zoombombing” which refers to unauthorized users entering meetings to harass the participants. I’ve looked over Frame Shift Consulting’s advice on dealing with this possibility, and I don’t anticipate it being a problem in classes I present.
I have personally made the decision that my interest in participating in kink events outweighs the risk to my privacy, just as I regularly decide that my interest in attending kink conferences outweighs the privacy risk of providing my legal name and contact information to registration volunteers. I hope that everyone reading is able to come to decisions that both safeguard your privacy to the degree you need and also support your need for education and community.