Zoom sends users’ data to Facebook without their explicit permission
The conferencing app has exploded in use along with others as consumers and remote workers rush to stay connected amid the continuing pandemic.
Video conferencing software Zoom, which is enjoying massive popularity amid the coronavirus crisis – even UK prime minister Boris Johnson is using it – is seemingly being sneaky on data privacy.
The Apple iOS version of the app is sending data analytics to Facebook, when those Zoom users have not been informed and even when they don’t have a Facebook account.
The data transfer is happening via the Facebook software development kit (SDK), which is used by software developers to implement features into their apps more easily – but this also has the effect of sending information to Facebook.
On downloading and opening, Zoom connects to Facebook’s Graph API, according to a Motherboard news site report. The Graph API is the main way developers get data in or out of Facebook.
The Zoom app sends Facebook details on the user’s device – like model – as well as the time zone and city they are connecting from. Facebook is also told which phone carrier is being used and the unique advertiser identifier created by the user’s device (companies use this to target a user with ads).
Zoom’s usage policy only confirms the company may collect users’ “Facebook profile information (when you use Facebook to log-in to our products or to create an account for our products)”.
Facebook told Motherboard it requires developers to be transparent with users about the data their apps may send to Facebook.
Zoom has not so far responded to the Motherboard report.