Zoom removes controversial code that shares data with Facebook

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Video conferencing app Zoom has removed controversial code that shared user data to Facebook — even when those users didn’t have a Facebook account.

Zoom insists the data collected did not include personal information, but rather anonymous information about a user’s device. It has apologized for the “oversight” and made changes to the Facebook login process to prevent it.

Zoom has reportedly seen a significant increase in users as millions of people around the world flock to video conferencing apps while they’re stuck at home. It’s ideal for keeping in touch with friends and colleagues.

What we didn’t know until last Thursday, however, is that Zoom has been sharing data with Facebook even for those who have no Facebook account. In its latest update, it promises to have stamped out this process.

Zoom stops sharing to Facebook

Zoom blames the oversight on a Facebook SDK, used for the app’s “Login with Facebook” feature. It said in a statement to Vice that it had only recently been made aware of what was happening in terms of data collection.

An update rolled out on Friday, just a day after Vice earlier findings on Zoom were published, changes the way the “Login with Facebook” feature works so that data is no longer shared with the social network.

Users can still login using their Facebook account if they wish. However, the app will now handle that process via Safari instead — assuming the latest version of the Zoom app has been installed.

‘We sincerely apologize’

Zoom insists no personal data was shared with Facebook. Instead, it was device information, like software type and version, time zone, device model and carrier, screen size, and, for some reason, disk space.

“We sincerely apologize for this oversight, and remain firmly committed to the protection of our users’ data,” Zoom’s statement said.

Ensure you have updated to the latest version of the Zoom app to prevent sharing your data with Facebook — and check out our tips for staying safe while using Zoom.