Zoom’s iOS app sends data to Facebook even if users don’t have an account

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A new report shows that not only does Zoom not provide sufficient information to users about its data collection and data sharing practices, but it also shares data of non-Facebook users with the company.

Zoom’s privacy policy says that it may collect users’ Facebook profile information when they log into the app using their Facebook accounts.
Zoom’s privacy policy says that it may collect users’ Facebook profile information when they log into the app using their Facebook accounts.(Play Store)

The coronavirus outbreak has led to a sudden surge in the usage of video-conferencing apps, such as Zoom, owing to the lockdown and employees working from. Now, a new report says that Zoom’s iOS-based app sends data to Facebook even if users don’t have an account on the social networking platform.

A host of apps use Facebook’s software development kits (SDK) to add features to their apps, which in turn leads to the apps sharing data with the social networking giant. However, Facebook’s policies require app developers to be transparent about their apps sharing data with Facebook. The company requires app developers to provide “robust and sufficiently prominent notice to users” about their data collection and usage policies with third party apps including Facebook.

Now, an investigation by Motherboard shows that not only does Zoom not provide sufficient information to users about its data collection and data sharing practices, but it also shares data of non-Facebook users with the company.

Zoom’s privacy policy says that it may collect users’ Facebook profile information when they log into the app using their Facebook accounts. However, it doesn’t mention anything about sending data to Facebook about users who don’t have a Facebook account.

The video conferencing app, as per the report, Zoom gives a host of details to Facebook which includes details about the time users open the Zoom app, device, time zone and city, the mobile carrier that they are using and a unique advertiser identifier that can be used for targeted advertising.

This data is similar to what the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) found Ring’s Android app to be sharing. While Ring stopped those data sharing practices, it remains uncertain if Zoom’s iOS-based app has followed the suit.

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