Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Working from home: The future of business is remote

Zoom to iPhone users: We're no longer sending your data to Facebook

Zoom removes the feature from its iOS app after finding it wasn't necessary for delivering its service.

The coronavirus could make remote work the norm, what businesses need to know

The iOS version of popular remote-working video app Zoom has been updated to remove the code that was sending user data to Facebook. 

The update comes in response to a Motherboard analysis that found the Zoom iOS app was sending some analytics data to Facebook's Graph application programming interface (API), even from Zoom users who don't have a Facebook account. The video-conferencing company also failed to mention this type of data transfer in its privacy policy. 

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Zoom on Friday released an updated version of its iOS app after removing the Facebook software development kit (SDK) it had used to implement the 'Login with Facebook' feature that was transferring device data to Facebook's Graph API. 

Data that was being transferred included the operating system type and version, IP address, the iOS Advertiser ID, the device time zone and language, the device model and carrier, screen size, processor cores, and disk space. 

SEE: Cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

However, it did not include information about meetings, such as names of participants or notes, according to Zoom. 

"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," wrote Zoom founder Eric Yuan in a blogpost.

He said the SDK was "collecting device information unnecessary for us to provide our services."

"We sincerely apologize for the concern this has caused, and remain firmly committed to the protection of our users' privacy. We are reviewing our process and protocols for implementing these features in the future to ensure this does not happen again," he added. 

The company was called out last year over security issues caused by the way it implemented a bypass to Apple Safari restrictions on Macs. 

SEE: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Zoom has become a popular tool for millions of people working from home amid the global coronavirus pandemic

The company last week issued guidance for users who want to prevent strangers gate-crashing Zoom events. Some users weren't aware that publicly sharing a meeting link online allows anyone else with the link to join the event.