Google Meet to start blocking anonymous users in education meetings

Credit: https://www.theverge.com/2020/7/14/21323856/google-meet-g-suite-education-enterprise-anonymous-users-blocked-zoombombing

Google has improved the privacy of its videoconferencing space Meet. A new feature that blocks anonymous users from gatecrashing an education meeting by default was announced by the tech giant on Tuesday. Anonymous in this case would mean those not signed into a Google account; such people will be blocked from joining meetings organized by anyone with a G Suite for Education or G Suite Enterprise for Education license. Participants therefore will not be able to share a link publicly to encourage anonymous users to request access.

Google said this decision was taken to allow for concentration during such meetings. Learning as you already know requires concentration, and enabling anonymous users to attend such meetings could be disruptive.

The feature is being added by default, but can be disabled by G Suite for Education admins who would have to request for the feature to be deactivated for anonymous users to participate.

In April, Google Meet launched a couple of new tools to encourage remote learning for both teachers and students. Google, in a blog post announced the new features as well as emphasizing on a couple of new privacy measures being put in place to make the service safe for all.

Some of the features announced by Google include:

  • Only meeting creators and calendar owners can mute or remove other participants. This ensures that instructors cannot be removed or muted by student participants.
  • Only meeting creators and calendar owners can approve requests to join made by external participants. This means that students can’t allow external participants to join via video, and that external participants can’t join before the instructor.
  • Meeting participants cannot rejoin nicknamed meetings once the final participant has left. This means if the instructor is the last person to leave a nicknamed meeting, students can’t join later without the instructor present.

Google is ramping up efforts to bring its Meet videoconferencing app at per with other popular apps like Zoom—though it has some catching up to do. The new Meet button is located on the left side of your Gmail right below the “More” menu where you can click to see more option. To draw your attention to the new addition, you will see the word “New” written on a blue background in front of the “Meet” feature. You can either click to start a meeting or click to join a meeting.

Integrating Meet into Gmail is one smart move that could help Google achieve its goal of taking a sizeable share of the market. When you consider this alongside the fact that you can now do videoconferencing for free on Meet; then you understand where Google is heading at.

Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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