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Apple pushes update to remove Zoom's Web server

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Photo: Nicolò Campo/LightRocket/Getty Images

In a rare move, Apple silently updated the Mac operating system Wednesday to remove a controversial hidden Web server installed by the Zoom Web conferencing app.

The bottom line: The moves undo the damage, but as we reported yesterday, the bigger question is: when will tech companies stop prioritizing features over privacy in the first place?

  • Apple confirmed to TechCrunch that the update was performed automatically and required no action on the user's part.

What they're saying: Zoom, which said it worked with Apple on the move, also issued its own app update Tuesday removing the Web server and giving users the ability to uninstall Zoom if they wish.

  • The company also apologized for its earlier handling of the issue and the way it communicated with the researcher who alerted the company to the vulnerability.
  • "In engaging this researcher over the past 90 days, we misjudged the situation and did not respond quickly enough — and that’s on us," the company said in a blog post. "We take full ownership and we’ve learned a great deal."

Meanwhile, Apple has temporarily disabled the "walkie-talkie" feature on Apple Watch due to a vulnerability that could allow eavesdropping of a nearby iPhone.

Go deeper: Why privacy still comes second for tech firms