Video-conferencing app Zoom sued for sending user data to Facebook

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on April 01, 2020 Published on April 01, 2020

According to the suit, Zoom’s privacy policy does not disclose the information that the data is being sent to third parties like Facebook and it is a violation of California’s Consumer Privacy Act.

Video-conferencing app Zoom’s creator Zoom Video Communications Inc. is being sued by a user for illegally disclosing personal information, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

The lawsuit comes after a website - Motherboard had reported that Zoom had been collecting personal data of the user as they logged on to the app and had been sharing data with Facebook irrespective of whether the user had a Facebook account or not.

Robert Cullen of Sacramento filed the lawsuit alleging the company of illegally sharing personal information with third parties on Monday in federal court in San Jose, California, the report said.

According to the suit, Zoom’s privacy policy does not disclose the information that the data is being sent to third parties like Facebook and it is a violation of California’s Consumer Privacy Act.

The Zoom app had recently been under the scanner after a report by tech website Motherboard said that the Zoom app is sending some analytics data to Facebook even if the user doesn’t have a Facebook account.

According to their analysis, many apps use Facebook's software development kits (SDK) to include certain features within their app. Using Facebook’s SDK allows the app to share user data with the company.

As a user downloaded and opened the Zoom app, it connected the app to Facebook's Graph API. The app then notified Facebook about user activity, including when a user opens the app, the user’s device details, including model, the time zone and location, along with the network carrier they are using.

Zoom’s privacy policy did not mention this. The only mention of user data with respect to Facebook stated that Zoom may collect a user's Facebook profile information when they use Facebook to log in to the app.

Zoom had later removed the code which enabled the app to share user data with Facebook, Motherboard had reported.

Cullen who is representing other users has asked for a declaration that Zoom violated the policy. He is seeking punitive damages as per the act.

Published on April 01, 2020

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