Russian video roulette: data protection undermines many video chat tools

More than 30 percent of business travellers participated in video conferences on four to five days per week in November 2020 (source: transport club VCD). What was at best a sparsely used option before Corona has established itself as a standard. Even today, many employers are talking about replacing business trips with video calls in the future.

If only there wasn't this one problem: data protection throws a spanner in the works. A publication by the Berlin data protection commissioners shows: The serious shortcomings of many online collaboration tools have hardly improved.


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Data protection violations unnoticed by the user

For users, it's really easy: create a link, log into the session and start discussing. But many people are not aware of what is happening in the background in technical terms. Data is exchanged here. Unfortunately, the widely used solutions often have security gaps.

For a long time, the implementation of the requirements of the GDPR has been a problem for many solutions from manufacturers in the USA. In July 2020, however, the European Court of Justice overturned the so-called "Privacy Shield", which until now regulated the transfer of personal data from Europeans to US servers - what a surprise: because of a breach of data protection. This means that companies that continue to use these tools face the risk of fines in the millions.

Common shortcomings of video chat tools

The number of defects to be found is large. Typical shortcomings are, for example:

  • lack of authorisation of included service providers as sub-processors
  • transfer of data to third countries not contractually specified
  • lack of order processing contract
  • incomplete implementation of the directives of the GDPR
  • unclear or contradictory contractual clauses
  • reservation of the use of the data for own purposes

If personal data is transferred to the USA, the US secret services will almost automatically have access to it - no data protection.

Meet, Zoom or Teams: Many common video tools fail

The examination of software solutions by the Berlin data protection commissioner, Maja Smoltczyk, shows that especially the widely used, well-known solutions sometimes have glaring gaps. According to the current legal regulations, many tools that are used in companies on a daily basis can fail under data protection law. These include, for example:

  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Skype & Skype for Business
  • Zoom
  • freely available Jitsi offers
  • GoToMeeting
  • TeamViewer Meeting
  • Cisco Webex Meetings

A year ago, the Berlin data protection commissioner had already conducted a comparable survey, also with clear deficiencies. Particularly annoying: although the results were published publicly, hardly anything has changed with the providers. On the contrary, some solutions have even changed for the worse. It seems as if there was a lack of will to comply with European data protection standards.

Use problematic services anyway? Only possible in a roundabout way!

Entrepreneurs can still use software solutions from US providers. However, they have to eliminate the security gaps themselves. For example, by taking appropriate precautions to ensure that no personal data is transmitted. This requires the choice of European servers, encryption and pseudonymisation of the data - and above all knowledge of which security gaps exist in the first place. In practice, however, this is likely to be technically and organisationally difficult to implement.

The list also shows some alternatives that comply with the narrow legal requirements. However, they lack the necessary dissemination and acceptance - what hardly anyone knows is rarely used in everyday life.

A real alternative: the integrated video chat of the rexx Suite

Since the problem has been known for some time and video conferencing is on the rise, rexx systems reacted immediately and integrated a powerful tool into the rexx suite. Whether it's remote work, a quick vote, a staff meeting or a webinar, rexx video chat allows employers to handle all everyday conversations. The business software from rexx systems offers you a multitude of advantages:

  • Security and data protection: Data protection is a top priority at rexx. That's why all data transfers are handled exclusively via German data centres. You want to be absolutely secure? Then let data run via your own server. Your data will not get outside and the risk is reduced to a minimum.
  • Individual conversations or groups: Whether face-to-face or video conference with ten participants, with the rexx video conferencing module any number of employees or business partners can join in the discussion.
  • Secure data transmission: Your employees exchange documents quickly and securely via the connection - naturally in compliance with GDPR.
  • No maintenance effort: All employees of the company are automatically created and are therefore accessible. New hires and departures are taken into account in real time. And external persons? You can simply invite them to the video chat using predefined templates.
  • Easy to use: The rexx video chat is intuitive to use - there are no barriers and anyone can join in.
  • Availability: Thanks to the integration into the rexx suite, you can always see in the video chat which colleagues are currently available. Thanks to the calendar connection, absences such as business trips or holidays can be displayed.
  • Functional diversity: You don't have to do without any common functions. Split your screen or set up fixed rooms for recurring meetings. Let external people participate via telephone, record meetings or switch between video and audio - everything is possible.

This is how you use the rexx video chat

The rexx video chat is primarily about your internal communication. In this way, you can perfectly integrate your home office employees into your teams, coordinate quickly, hold meetings and even conduct staff appraisals.

HR benefits additionally from the video chats because they can easily conduct live interviews with applicants via the module. This is not only useful during the Corona pandemic. You can also use this tool in the long term to get to know applicants for whom the journey would be too far. Video calls are also a good way to pre-select applicants - in the past, this was often done by telephone interviews.

And video conferences and webinars will also become more and more popular in personnel development - this way, internal trainings with employees from different locations can be carried out almost cost-neutrally. Regularly recurring instructions are processed efficiently.

Do you already know the rexx video chat? Contact our friendly team at rexx systems - take advantage of the opportunity to test it or learn more about the functionality of the software.

 

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8. April 2021

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