Zoom’s iOS app is sending analytics data to Facebook without warning.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak as people are working from home, the popularity of video calling services like Zoom has skyrocketed.
However, a bitter truth revealed about Zoom by Vice’s tech branch, Motherboard, leaves people aghast.
Hello all new Zoom users! https://t.co/xDlxqnuFOe
— Motherboard (@motherboard) March 26, 2020
Want to know about it?
Yes, here it is.
This practice is not uncommon as app developers have been using Facebook Graph API to implement features into their software. But they need to inform users about data sharing as per Facebook terms.
But for Zoom users, this is startling as they aren’t aware that using one product means providing or sharing data with other services.
Is this the first time
This isn’t the first time Zoom has been caught doing such a privacy blunder. Back in 2019, a security researcher unearthed a bug that left users vulnerable to webcam hijacking without their knowledge.
This Zoom vulnerability is bananas. I tried one of the proof of concept links and got connected to three other randos also freaking out about it in real time. https://t.co/w7JKHk8nZy pic.twitter.com/arOE6DbQaf
— Matt Haughey (@mathowie) July 9, 2019
Other recent news related to video calling privacy involves a man exposing himself to children in a video call. This was found in an app called Whereby.
What data is being shared?
The data being shared includes:
- The time when the app was launched
- Device and location information
- Phone carrier details
- Analytical data that can be used to create ads
How Zoom’s iOS version can share user data that does not have a Facebook account?
Even if there’s no linked social media account, the Zoom video calling app can share data because it uses Facebook’s software development kits (SDKs). This means Zoom upon being downloaded and installed, connects to the Facebook Graph API and shares data.
run away when the answer does not begin with “No” https://t.co/AVZcbjKmQ4
— Will Strafach (@chronic) March 26, 2020
Zoom privacy “A Bucket of Red Flags”
This information clearly shows Zoom collects a huge amount of personal data and there is no way to opt-out while we are stuck in a situation where we have to use video conferencing apps. Although Zoom’s policy states that no data is sold, it can be used for targeting ads and marketing purposes. At first glance, this might seem harmless but when this data is used to design tailor-made ads things can become worse.
For me, this is bad news as my data is being collected and used. What do you think about it?
Do share your thoughts in the comments section. We wait to hear from you and pray for all to stay home and stay safe.
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