Zoom Updates Mac App Installer to Remove Controversial 'Preflight' Installation Method

The popular video conferencing company Zoom has been under scrutiny over the past few days for the method used to install the Mac version of its app, which essentially abused a "preflight" compatibility check to install the app without the user needing to explicitly grant installation permission, as highlighted by developer Felix Seele earlier this week.

zoom preflight install

Screenshot of preflight compatibility check for Zoom; clicking Continue immediately installs the app if the user has admin privileges (via Felix Seele)

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan responded to Seele, noting that while the installation method was "implemented to balance the number of clicks given the limitations of the standard technology," he recognized the issue and promised to "continue to improve."

zoom traditional install

Revised installer with traditional installation process

Zoom has now updated its Mac app installer to no longer use the preflight installation method, instead using a traditional installation authorization process, as noted by The Verge.

“They completely removed the preinstall stuff, so you now need to click through the installer as it ought to be,” explains Seele in a message to The Verge. The fake prompt has also been removed so users have to specifically click through and install Zoom. “I must say that I am impressed,” says Seele. “I expected them to maybe change the dialog, but since the ‘zero-click’ aspect was so important to them, I thought they would stick with the preinstall-trick.”

The Mac app installation issue is hardly Zoom's first controversy, with the company seeing increased attention as its popularity has boomed amid self-isolation. Other recent controversies over just the past week have included its integration with a Facebook SDK that was sending Zoom user data to Facebook and misleading claims of end-to-end encryption.

Tag: Zoom

Top Rated Comments

madmin Avatar
46 months ago

Do I need to delete and reinstall Zoom for more security after this change?
No, you only need to do the first step
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
longofest Avatar
46 months ago
Remember when they installed a web server on macs ('https://www.macrumors.com/2019/07/09/zoom-videoconferencing-app-vulnerability/') without anyone knowing that resulted in a zero day?

Not a fan of Zoom since then. Nothing they have done since then has endeared me any more. I prefer FaceTime, Skype, or pretty much any other method to connect than Zoom.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
konqerror Avatar
46 months ago

Remember when a person could hear you before you picked up a FaceTime call? Bugs happen.
A software bug is one thing, engineering a buggy web server to intentionally bypass a browser security measure, engineering an installer to get around user confirmation prompts, and being deceptive in your advertising and documentation are on a totally different level.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madmin Avatar
46 months ago
Always too little too late with Zoom
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Azzin Avatar
46 months ago
I also despise that they claim to use end to end encryption, when in fact, they don’t.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madmin Avatar
46 months ago

It seems like they made some bad choices, but it also seems like they are recognizing the fact they were bad choices and are quickly taking steps to address them.

It's easy to fault them but perhaps such quick acknowledgement and rapid changes are a good sign.
Let me know when they stop making bazillions auctioning users behavioural surplus on the data markets
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple WWDC23 macOS Sonoma hero

macOS Sonoma Launching This Week With These New Features

Sunday September 24, 2023 12:45 pm PDT by
Apple previously announced that macOS Sonoma will be released this Tuesday, September 26. The free software update includes many new features and changes for the Mac, including the five that we have highlighted below. In addition to these five features, we have shared the full release notes for macOS Sonoma below for a complete overview of everything new. Desktop Widgets macOS Sonoma...
iPhone 16 Mock Header With Dynamic Island

Skipping the iPhone 15 Pro? Here's What's Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro

Friday September 22, 2023 9:29 am PDT by
Are you skipping the iPhone 15 Pro and waiting another year to upgrade? If so, we already have some iPhone 16 Pro rumors for you. Below, we recap new features rumored for the iPhone 16 Pro models so far:Larger displays: The iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be equipped with larger 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch displays, respectively, according to Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain...
iPhone 16 Side Feature

iPhone 16 to Include an Additional Capacitive 'Capture' Button

Monday September 25, 2023 12:50 pm PDT by
The iPhone 16 series is expected to gain an additional capacitive button, known internally as the "Capture Button." Codenamed "Project Nova," the button is likely to be one of the main selling points of the iPhone 16 lineup, assuming it gets past the initial testing phase. The Capture Button is located on the same side as the Power button, only positioned slightly lower - where the mmWave cutout...
ipad mini blue

Apple to Launch iPad Mini 7 Later This Year, Industry Report Suggests

Monday September 25, 2023 3:16 am PDT by
Apple could be preparing to release a seventh-generation iPad mini before the end of the year, based on a new report by DigiTimes. In an article discussing stagnating global tablet demand in the second half of 2023, the Taiwan-based outlet forecasts an uptick in Apple's share of the market owing to orders for a "small-size" iPad in the fourth quarter. From the report (see bold): In the...