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Security & privacy

Update Zoom now to stop Facebook from snooping on your data

Updated 03/30/2020 – After Zoom’s practice of sending users’ data to Facebook without their knowledge was made public last week, the company has decided to stop doing it ASAP. But if you’re using Zoom with iOS, you need to update the app immediately so the change will take effect.

With millions of people trying to avoid contact with others, many find themselves at home alone trying to keep their minds off this nasty pandemic. Things have gotten so bad out there that normal everyday situations like running to the grocery store are now frightening.

The good news is many grocery stores now offer home delivery so you don’t have to risk shopping in person. But make sure you’re handling all deliveries in a safe way. Tap or click here for tips on ordering groceries online and safely unpacking them.

Now that the fridge is safely stocked, how are you going to stay entertained while cooped up inside? Simple: Use a video chat app to keep in touch with friends and relatives. But be careful, one popular app is totally breaching its users’ privacy.

Zoom is sharing private data with Facebook

Video chatting apps are a great way to have personal, nearly face-to-face conversations with others, even when they’re thousands of miles away. Services like FaceTime and Skype have really brought communication into the 21st century.

Another one of these video chat apps is Zoom. It’s very popular nowadays, as more people are working from home and companies are using it to hold meetings online.

But there is a major problem with Zoom. According to Motherboard, the iOS version of the Zoom app is sending users’ analytics data to Facebook, even if they don’t have an account with the social media site.

RELATED: Trolls are breaking into video chats – change these settings now

By now you’ve most likely heard of targeted ads, they’re very common. Companies like Facebook and Google receive analytics like this from lots of other companies so they can personalize ads for you.

The problem with Zoom is it’s not made clear in its iOS app that it’s sending Facebook private data. Even worse, you don’t have to have a Facebook account for Zoom to send information about you.

How is this happening?

Motherboard researchers said after you download and open the Zoom app, it connects to Facebook’s Graph API. This is the main resource for developers to procure data from Facebook.

Once connected to Facebook, the Zoom app gives it your details, like which device model you have, your mobile carrier, the city and time zone you’re in, and more. Zoom’s privacy policy says it may collect users’ Facebook profile information but doesn’t let people know it’s going to send data to Facebook.

At this time, there’s nothing Zoom users can do about this. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other video chatting services out there. Tap or click here for more options.

Until Zoom addresses this glaring privacy breach, you might want to delete the app and use one of the more trusted ones. It is your information after all, you should at least have a say in which companies have access to it.

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