Zoom shares data with Facebook even about non-Facebook users [Updated]


Zoom video conferencing for Mac
Zoom became very popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has some sketchy privacy practices.
Photo: Zoom

The Zoom video conferencing app has been a lifesaver for many people unexpectedly forced to work from home during the coronavirus outbreak. But privacy experts have raised concerns that this app shares more user data than many might realize. That includes the iOS version reportedly sending information to Facebook, even about users who don’t have a Facebook account.

Update: Zoom has removed this controversial code.

Facebook isn’t listening to your Zoom call

Vice dug into the nuts and bolts of the Zoom application for iPhone and found that it shares a collection of basic information about every user with Facebook.

“The Zoom app notifies Facebook 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 carrier they are using, and a unique advertiser identifier created by the user’s device which companies can use to target a user with advertisements,” reports Vice.

The Zoom Privacy Policy indicates that it gathers personal information about users when they use their Facebook account to log into Zoom. Doing so gives the company access to user’s Facebook profile info.

Zoom doesn’t say anything specific about sending data to Facebook, however. But many companies don’t consider the details shared by the Zoom iOS app to be private. Facebook isn’t getting access to the user’s name or email address, for example.

Zoom already raises the hackles of privacy watchdogs

Zoom doesn’t have a good history of protecting user privacy. Last year, it was caught installing a web server on Macs in order to circumvent Safari’s built-in security and privacy tools. Apple eventually fixed this with an automatic security update.

Cult of Mac has suggestions for precautions to take when using this application.


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