Popular video conferencing app, Zoom has just provided an update for its iOS app that reportedly removes a code that sent user data to Facebook. This update was specifically made as a response to Motherboard’s analysis of the app code for the previous version of the app. As a result of the analysis, a code was found which sent information such as a user’s time zone and city to the social media giant even if a person didn’t have an account there.
Now, for those who don’t know, Zoom has been here for a while but it wasn’t until the recent COVID-19 situation that the video conferencing platform gained attention from the mass public. The reason for that was the global closure of schools and universities, which moved lectures from classrooms to online. The most common platform of choice for this purpose was Zoom.
After implementing the update, the CEO of Zoom, Eric S. Yuan, took it upon himself to explain everything in his blogpost. In the blogpost, Yuan says that they used Facebook’s Software Development Kit (SDK) for iOS for the implementation of the “Login with Facebook” feature in the app. It was not until 25th March when the company was informed: “that the Facebook SDK was collecting device information unnecessary for us to provide our services”.
This means that Facebook was allegedly collecting all that data without the knowledge of Zoom, which sure does make things interesting. As far as the data is concerned, it wasn’t anything personal. In fact, according to Yuan, it consisted mostly of information regarding the users’ devices or their location information.
While that does seem relatively “harmless”, the major concern that most people ignore is Facebook getting away with user information for so long without being caught. This isn’t the first time Facebook has been accused of stealing data like this. It seems as if the social media giant still hasn’t given up its thirst for user data after all.
Regardless, Zoom’s CEO has apologized on his behalf over this scenario. He says in his blogpost, “We sincerely apologize for the concern this has caused, and remain firmly committed to the protection of our users’ privacy. We are reviewing our process and protocols for implementing these features in the future to ensure this does not happen again”.
It’s a good thing Zoom is acknowledging its mistake and is making changes to ensure its users don’t face any future privacy breaches. For all the iOS users who have Zoom installed, now would be a good time to update the app to its latest version (v. 4.6.9) in order to avoid any privacy breach from Facebook.