Zoom stops sharing data with Facebook, issues apology

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 30 Mar 2020

Zoom app for iOS was sharing personal data with Facebook

Zoom has removed the code that led to data sharing with Facebook

Zoom stops sharing data with Facebook, issues apology

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The time of lockdown has prompted people to turn to video conferencing as a means of conducting day-to-day business. Schools and business alike are using video conferencing in order to try and bring some semblance of normalcy to their operations and one app that has really come to the forefront is Zoom. However, as with everything that has ever been popular, people were quick to find problems with Zoom. Turns out, the app was sending personal information back to Facebook, albeit unwittingly. After a massive uproar, Zoom has removed the offending code.

The issue started with Zoom using Facebook Login. The company said that they wanted to make it easy for users to log into the app, hence the Facebook login. The login feature is implemented using the Facebook SDK, which connects the users of the app to Facebook’s Graph API. Once users log in, the SDK can then share information with third parties, and it is this behaviour that has caused concern amongst users. Additionally, Zoom’s terms of service made no explicit mention that by using Facebook Login, people were consenting to their private information being shared with the social media giant.

According to Zoom's statement to Motherboard, the app did not share any sensitive information, like user names, emails and phone numbers, but "included data about users’ devices such as the mobile OS type and version, the device time zone, device OS, device model and carrier, screen size, processor cores, and disk space". Since then Zoom has pushed out an update for the iOS version of their app, which no longer uses Facebook SDK, cutting off the sharing of data. Zoom says that even after the removal of the Facebook SDK, users will be able to log in with their Facebook accounts if they have one. The company has also issued an apology on the matter.

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