CBS reported on April 1, 2020, that popular video conferencing zoom, violated users' privacy by automatically sending secure and sensitive information over to Facebook in the background.
Zoom overnight became one of the largest used meeting software applications as people turned to working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit states that “the unique advertising identifier allows companies to target the user with advertisements” In addition, the lawsuit pointed out that such information is sent out regardless of whether or not the user has an account with the Facebook service.
Zoom, however, identified and acknowledged this practice after it was made public via a report from Vice, leading them to change this behavior.
Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, acknowledged this further on a company blog post:
"Our customers' privacy is incredibly important to us, and therefore we decided to remove the Facebook SDK in our [Apple-based] client and have reconfigured the feature so that users will still be able to log in with Facebook via their browser," -Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom
Other allegations stated in the lawsuit have questioned Zoom's ability to cope with the surge in demand as the world switches to remote working practices. According to CBS, New York Attorney General Letitia James requested information from zoom as to how they will guarantee the safety of their consumer's data. Although zoom has yet to respond to James request, they did state that they will provide it.
The coronavirus situation has created chaos in the business world, but a lot of companies continue to thrive, such as the success seen with Zoom. As more and more businesses continue to switch to remote workflows, the privacy of the data and the vulnerabilities of keeping that data safe become more clear.
But zoom has beefed up its staff with, among other titans, the former security chief of Facebook, Alex Stamos. Stamos told CNBC today that he still very much trusts zoom to host his video conferences, citing their many security improvements.
Overall, as Zoom faces a class action, it is without a doubt that teleconferencing services are bound to be integrated into regular workflows across many businesses.