Video Conferencing App Zoom Sends Data from iOS to Facebook Even If It Isn’t Installed

Zoom video call logo

Ever since the deadly COVID-19 outbreak started, companies started asking employees to work from home. And team collaboration and video conferencing apps like Microsoft Teams and Zoom started seeing explosive growth. But how secure are these apps?

Zoom is probably one of the most talked-about video conferencing apps right now. It is available on almost all the relevant platforms, including Android, iOS, iPadOS, macOS, web, and Windows 10. However, it is now being reported that Zoom for iOS sends analytics data to Facebook’s servers, which could turn out to be a privacy issue.

Vice is reporting that Zoom’s iOS app sends analytics data to Facebook even if the social media app isn’t installed on the iPhone or the user has no Facebook account. This sort of behavior is not uncommon among modern-age apps as developers sometimes use Facebook’s SDKs to implement some features in their apps. However, what’s shocking is that Zoom’s privacy policy fails to mention sending data over to Facebook.

Zoom’s iOS app notifies Facebook when the user opens the app, and details the information about the device, including the device name, time zone, network carrier, and a unique advertising ID that can be used to target ads.

A security expert explains that users might be unaware of this behavior, and they might not know that their data can be sent to Facebook even if they are not using the social networking app. So, users who have distanced themselves from using Facebook might be alarmed after reading the report of their data being shared with the social media giant.

Our Take

Since Facebook states that developers who use its SDK should mention it in their privacy policies, and Zoom doesn’t seem to be doing that. Moreover, after privacy aficionados started distancing themselves after Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, Zoom should be extremely careful in sending user data to Facebook and associating with the social media platform.

You might want to check out how to stop iOS apps from sharing your data with Facebook.

[Source: Vice]