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Video Calling App Zoom is Sharing Advertising Data with Facebook

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Image courtesy The Quint

Video conferencing app Zoom stepped up to the scandalous news and updated its iOS app. This was by removing the code that sent user data to Facebook.

Zoom said the data collected did not include personal user information, but rather information about users’ devices. Users should update the iOS app to the latest version for the change to take effect, the company said.

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Zoom had picked up over 2.2 million users last month and the number is undoubtedly still growing. But it seems to be getting darker at the top, as a new report now claims that the app is sharing users’ data with Facebook. Get this, this is even with users that don’t have a Facebook account.

Apparently, Zoom uses Facebook’s software development kits (SDKs) to access a number of features. This then grants Facebook access to some of the information from Zoom users. You might run to defend this, but what makes it worse is why it’s not even mentioned on Zoom’s terms for privacy.

“That’s shocking. There is nothing in Zoom’s privacy policy that addresses that,” an activist from Privacy Matters was quoted as saying.

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Facebook privacy policy

According to the analysis, the data that is siphoned by Facebook includes:

  • when the user opens the app;
  • details on the user’s device such as the model, the time zone and city they are connecting from;
  • which phone network they are using;
  • a unique advertiser identifier;

The issue might not necessarily be categorised as a disaster right now, but it is surely destined to bring up some concerns. The same hasn’t been reported for Android although one can easily draw a conclusion. The company, however, did acknowledge to sharing user data with other entities such as Google but seemed to leave out Facebook.

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