Zoom App for iOS Removes Facebook SDK That Sent User’s Device Information to Facebook

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Zoom app for iOS has got an update that stops it from sending information to Facebook. According to an analysis, the app sent information regarding when the user opened the app, from their location to device details and the time zone where the app has been opened to Facebook. Now, with the update, the code that sent this information back to the search giant has been removed. Zoom also released a statement where it clarified the changes associated to user privacy that were implemented in the new update.

Motherboard’s Joseph Cox was first to analyse Zoom app’s privacy policy on iOS and found that the information of data sent to Facebook was not very clear. Joseph also pointed out that the information being collected by the Facebook SDK was unnecessary.

The statement released by Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan on the company’s blog stated, “Zoom takes its users’ privacy extremely seriously. We would like to share a change that we have made regarding the use of Facebook’s SDK. We originally implemented the “Login with Facebook” feature using the Facebook SDK for iOS (Software Development Kit) in order to provide our users with another convenient way to access our platform. However, we were made aware on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, that the Facebook SDK was collecting device information unnecessary for us to provide our services.”

The statement went on to clarify what kind of data was being collected which included the mobile OS type and version, the time zone, device model and carrier, and other device related details like the core count of the processor, screen size, and disk space. It also noted that the information related to the meetings like the name of attendees, notes, etc. was not being collected by the SDK. This was the same as what was found in the analysis by Motherboard.

The blog post also shows examples of the information that was being sent to Facebook. Besides the previously mentioned details, it sent user’s IP address, iOS device disk space remaining, and iOS advertiser ID.

Zoom’s statement went on to say, “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. Users will need to update to the latest version of our application that’s already available at 2:30pm Pacific time (3am IST) on Friday, March 27, 2020, in order for these changes to take hold, and we strongly encourage them to do so.”

The App Store page for the app shows “Improvements to Facebook Login” in the ‘What’s New’ section.

Zoom is an app that allows users to have meetings through video calls, something that has become a necessity in the current work from home scenario. Apps like it, Houseparty, and others have seen quite an increase in downloads as well.

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