Zoom

Apple pushes update to remove Zoom's Web server

Apple store logo
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?

Why privacy still comes second for tech firms

A phone buzzing with an alarm reading "privacy" with a snooze button beneath.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

While tech firms talk more about protecting personal information than they once did, a pair of recent controversies highlight the industry's longstanding habit of prioritizing convenience and new features over users' privacy.

Driving the news: Zoom, the popular video conferencing service, confirmed a researcher's finding that it installs a hidden Web server on Macs, speeding up the process for launching a video chat. Rather than apologize, the company initially defended the decision in a blog post, though it largely reversed course after significant outcry.