Zoom for iOS sends information to Facebook without permission, even from users who do not have an account on the social network

Zoom is one of the companies that is taking advantage of the situation the best. The video calling application has been at the top of Google Play and the App Store for several days and its meteoric rise has made them one of the most popular ‘unicorns’ of the moment. But with success comes scrutiny. As Motherboard has discovered, the iOS version of Zoom sends unacceptable information to Facebook, even if users do not have an account on that social network.

Zoom’s privacy policy makes no mention of this fact and it is that unlike other apps such as WhatsApp or Instagram, Zoom is not associated with Facebook and it is not known what interest it may have in sharing this data.

Zoom hides the use it makes with the data in its privacy policy

As described in the application report, every time a user opens Zoom from their iOS app, data is sent to Facebook. Specifically, they refer to the device model, network provider, time zone, connection city and a unique device identifier for advertisers to send ads. And it is that predictably, at this point is where the connection between Zoom and Facebook would be. Reflecting once again that the reach of the social network reaches even those users who do not use it.

For Facebook, the development kit specifies that if a third-party application makes use of this tool you must explicitly indicate this in your privacy policy, as well as offering an option so that the user can decide not to send this data. Some requirements that Zoom does not meet.

Strangely, the privacy policy of Zoom does refer to Google. “Our third-party service providers and advertising partners (for example, Google Ads and Google Analytics) automatically collect certain information about you when you use our products.”

For those users who want to continue using Zoom regularly but have questions about their privacy, one option is to access the video call through the browser to avoid kits associated with the mobile application.

Organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have warned that the rise of these video calling tools is a new point to carefully analyze, as they are a new way to monitor user activity. Additionally, the organization advised that the hosts of Zoom calls can see if the participants have the window open, as well as the IP address and location data of the participants.

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