Zoom temporarily pauses introducing new features for three months while it attempts to solve security issues
Zoom has removed code from its app that was sending user data to FacebookThe app was transmitting device information, log-on times, and moreZoom’s policy wasn’t clear about the data sharing practicesUsers must update their Zoom apps to reap the new privacy measures
Zoom is shifting course after its app was found to be covertly sending data to Facebook.
According to a blog post from the company’s CEO Eric S. Yuan, Zoom was ‘made aware on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, that the Facebook SDK was collecting device information unnecessary for us to provide our services’ and has subsequently changed the app’s code.
‘Our customers’ privacy is incredibly important to us, and therefore we decided to remove the Facebook SDK in our iOS client and have reconfigured the feature so that users will still be able to log in with Facebook via their browser,’ wrote Yuan in the post.
Video calling app Zoom was sharing data with Facebook via its iOS app even if users have no account on the social media site, according to a report from Motherboard
Users will have to update their app in order to reap the privacy of Zoom’s update which went into effect on Friday.
The move comes after the app was found sharing sensitive data, including the time the Zoom app was opened, phone carrier, device specs, location and other analytic data that can be used to target ads.
According to a prior report from Motherboard, the video conferencing app accesses the Facebook Graph API — short for ‘application programming interface’ — which connects Zoom to the social network’s vast dataset.
Although that process isn’t uncommon, Facebook’s terms of service mandate that programmers make users aware of their data sharing practices.
Zoom’s privacy policies, however, only make it clear that the app may collect and share data relating to their users’ Facebook profiles without stating the same might apply to users without an account on the social media platform.
Data shared includes the time the Zoom app is opened, your phone carrier, device specs, your location and other analytic data that can be used to target adverts. Pictured, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, seen here at the firm’s IPO in New York last April
Zoom has been among the popular video-chatting services to see an uptick in usage as people across the world are forced to stay home during an ongoing epidemic of a novel coronavirus.
Namely, some professionals have flocked to the service in order to enable remote work and cope with the mass shutdown of offices everywhere.
‘We sincerely apologize for the concern this has caused, and remain firmly committed to the protection of our users’ privacy,’ Yuan wrote in the blog post.
‘We are reviewing our process and protocols for implementing these features in the future to ensure this does not happen again.’
WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCING?
Social distancing is a term used by health authorities to help slow the spread of coronavirus by keeping an appropriate distance between people.
Australian health authorities recommend at least 1.5 metres between each person at all times.
This is because coronavirus can be transmitted by:
CoughingSneezingBeing in the same space for a long period Touching the same surface
Social distancing also refers to limiting physical contact with each other as much as possible which has led to authorities encouraging people to work from home, avoid crowded spaces and public transport as much as possible.
Source: Australian Department of Health