Zoom, a popular video communications company has removed a bunch of codes that are sending data about its users to Facebook in its latest iOS app update. The codes are sending these data through the Facebook login feature.
The removal of the codes in its latest update comes after a Motherboard analysis of the Zoom app revealed that a Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK) integrated into the app sent information like when users opened the app, their city, their timezone and device details to Facebook.
Speaking on the discovery, Zoom apologized for the oversight. It added that it takes users privacy important and just recently discovered that the Facebook SDK was collecting unnecessary data. The company explained that the SDK was initially implemented to allow users to log in conveniently using Facebook.
“Zoom takes its users’ privacy extremely seriously. We originally implemented the ‘Login with Facebook’ feature using the Facebook SDK in order to provide our users with another convenient way to access our platform. However, we were recently made aware that the Facebook SDK was collecting unnecessary device data”Extract from Statement
Old Zoom iOS app sends user data to Facebook
As people are forced to work and socialize from home due to the spreading Covid-19 pandemic, the use of the Zoom app has skyrocketed. What many iOS users didn’t know before the update on Friday is that Facebook was getting their timezone, city, and device details through an SDK on the app.
An SDK is a bundle of codes used by developers to often implement features into an app. In the case of Facebooks SDK for Zoom, it sent data about users to Facebook.
Many apps use Facebook’s software development kits (SDK) as a means to implement features like Facebook login into their apps. In some cases however, it also has the effect of sending out some kinds of information.
Unknown to many users on iOS, their app was sending their data to Facebook. The data sent also contained a unique advertiser identifier created by the user’s device which can be used by companies for targeted advertisement.
Zoom removes Facebook SDK
Zoom in its statement confirmed that the Facebook SDK sent information such as mobile OS type and version, the device time zone, device OS, device model and carrier, screen size, processor cores, and disk space of users. It however added that data did not include any personal user information like names.
“The data collected by the Facebook SDK did not include any personal user information, but rather included data about users’ devices such as the mobile OS type and version, the device time zone, device OS, device model and carrier, screen size, processor cores, and disk space,”
Zoom further added that it has removed the Facebook SDK responsible for sending the data and will reconfigure the Facebook login feature on the app.
“We will be removing the Facebook SDK and reconfiguring the feature so that users will still be able to login with Facebook via their browser.
With the latest Zoom iOS update, the Facebook login has been improved. However, the company said users will need to update to the latest version of the app in order for the removal to take effect.
So, if you are using Zoom app on iOS you need to update your app if you want to stop your app from sending pieces of information about you.
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