Business Insider Edition

Zoom is being sued for allegedly handing over data to Facebook

Isobel Asher Hamilton , Business Insider US
 Apr 01, 2020, 07:42 AM
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson used Zoom to host the first 'virtual Cabinet' meeting.
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  • A Zoom customer is suing the video-call company, claiming that its sharing of data to Facebook constitutes a violation of user privacy.
  • Last week Motherboard reported that Zoom's iOS app was sending analytics to Facebook without disclosing it explicitly in its privacy policy.
  • Usage of Zoom has spiked as white-collar workers under lockdown switch from meetings to video calls, but it's also under growing scrutiny for its privacy and security.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

A Zoom user has filed a class-action lawsuit against the video-conferencing company for passing on data to third parties like Facebook without properly notifying users.

The suit was filed in a California court on Monday and notes that Zoom's share price has soared in recent weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing people to increasingly work from home.

The person alleged that Zoom didn't safeguard the personal information of the increasing millions of users of its app and video conferencing platform.

"Upon installing or upon each opening of the Zoom App, Zoom collects the personal information of its users and discloses, without adequate notice or authorisation, this personal information to third parties, including Facebook, Inc. ("Facebook"), invading the privacy of millions of users," the suit alleges.

Zoom was not immediately available for comment about the lawsuit when contacted by Business Insider.

The suit draws on a report from Motherboard's Joseph Cox published last week, which found the iOS version of Zoom's app sends analytics to Facebook even for users who don't have a Facebook account. As Cox notes, this is not entirely uncommon for apps that offer an option to log in with Facebook, but the issue is that Zoom did not explicitly state in its privacy policy that it would send data to Facebook.

Zoom later removed code from its iOS app to stop it sending data to Facebook.

The firm told Motherboard at the time: "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."

Zoom is also under scrutiny more generally for its privacy and cybersecurity practices, which experts told Business Insider have historically been questionable.

During the recent surge in usage, Zoom has also struggled with trolls dropping into calls and sharing graphic or upsetting images, otherwise known as "Zoom bombing."

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