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B.C. education ministry gives reassurances amid Zoom hacking concerns

New security concerns surround Zoom video conferencing app
WATCH: New security concerns surround Zoom video conferencing app

A day after it announced the purchase of a licence to use Zoom, B.C.’s Ministry of Education addressed security concerns about the popular video conferencing service.

The ministry has offered Zoom to teachers at K-12 public and independent schools so they can try out different remote-learning methods, which will vary from school to school.

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Life after spring break: B.C. students start online learning
Life after spring break: B.C. students start online learning

The conferencing service, which has experienced a surge in popularity as people around the globe are told to stay home under the COVID-19 pandemic, has reportedly become the target of hackers.

In Ontario, a recent online seminar organized by the Canada Antisemitism Education Foundation appeared to have have been hacked.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Resources to help kids learn from home

On Thursday, the B.C. Ministry of Education said the Zoom application provided to school districts has security features that are not available on the app’s free version.

Education in the time of coronavirus
Education in the time of coronavirus

Students will be given a unique website address to access their virtual classroom and will not need to register for an individual account.

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The ministry went on to say the Zoom server will be based in Canada, with added encryption to increase privacy and security. The provincial privacy commissioner has also been consulted.