Zoom’s video calling service has been available for a short time now but the unprecedented number of individuals performing from home during the coronavirus pandemic has skyrocketed the app’s popularity.
However, research conducted by Vice’s tech branch, Motherboard, has revealed that Zoom’s iOS app has been secretly sharing analytical data with Facebook, albeit the user doesn’t have an account on the social media platform.
The data being shared includes time the app is launched, device and site information, phone carrier, and analytical data which will be wont to create targeted ads.
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Too much information
The reason Zoom is in a position to share user data with Facebook, albeit there is no linked social media account, is because the video calling app uses Facebook’s software development kits (SDKs). So, when Zoom is downloaded and launched, it immediately connects to the Facebook Graph API.
Not the primary time
Zoom does have a history of privacy issues. In 2019, a security researcher unearthed a bug that allowed webcams of Zoom users to be hacked without their knowledge, although the corporate has said that the difficulty has been resolved.
Other recent news associated with video chat security involves a person exposing himself ahead of youngsters on a video call after he was ready to “guess” the link to the decision . While this wasn’t on a Zoom call (instead on an app called Whereby), TechCrunch reported last year that it had been possible to hijack a Zoom meeting by “cycling through different permutations of meeting IDs in bulk”. This was possible because the meetings weren’t protected by a passcode.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently explained how a number on a Zoom call can monitor the activities of participants while screen-sharing. If users record the video call, then Zoom administrators are ready to “access the contents of that recorded call, including video, audio, transcript, and chat files, also as access to sharing, analytics, and cloud management privileges”.
While the old security issues have since been resolved by Zoom, this new discovery highlights how simple technological solutions can sometimes come at the value of privacy.