Zoom disables feature that was exposing users’ LinkedIn profiles | HT Tech

Zoom disables feature that was exposing users’ LinkedIn profiles

This feature was matching anonymous users to their LinkedIn profiles.

By: HT CORRESPONDENT
| Updated on: Apr 03 2020, 13:16 IST
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan attends the opening bell at Nasdaq as his company holds its IPO in New York. Millions of people are now working from home as part of the intensifying fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan attends the opening bell at Nasdaq as his company holds its IPO in New York. Millions of people are now working from home as part of the intensifying fight against the coronavirus outbreak. (AP)
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan attends the opening bell at Nasdaq as his company holds its IPO in New York. Millions of people are now working from home as part of the intensifying fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan attends the opening bell at Nasdaq as his company holds its IPO in New York. Millions of people are now working from home as part of the intensifying fight against the coronavirus outbreak. (AP)

Zoom's popularity skyrocketed over the Covid-19 lockdown. While that was all well and good, the increased use brought in heightened scrutiny to the company's data practices and a whole hoard of skeletons seem to be tumbling out of that cupboard.

The New York Times has now discovered that Zoom has been supporting a data-mining feature in the app that automatically matches user names and email IDs to their LinkedIn profiles. And this happens not only when you sign in, but also if you were anonymous and used a pseudonym on the call.

Also Read: Zoom says its video calls are not end-to-end encrypted, users hacked with porn content: Here's what happened

If another user on the meeting subscribed to a service called LinkedIn Sales Navigator, they were able to access the LinkedIn profiles of all other people on the chat meeting by clicking an icon next to their names. And this could be done with those users' knowledge and consent.

When asked by NYT, Zoom said that they take their users' privacy "extremely seriously" and would disable the feature. LinkedIn told NYT that they would be suspending Zoom integration while they "investigate further".

Zoom has made a lot of changes to their practices to deal with the recent privacy backlash. It all started when a software engineer discovered that Zoom was dodging macOS restrictions to install itself without users' consent. Zoom issued an update and removed this. CEO Eric S Yuan recently announced a 90-day feature freeze to fix security and privacy issues.

Also Read: Zoom apologizes for privacy issues, announces a 90-day feature freeze

Zoom also updates the iOS app last week to remove the code that shared data with Facebook and has rewritten parts of its privacy policy after it was discovered that the policy did not prevent the company from using users' personal data for targeted ads.

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First Published Date: 03 Apr, 13:16 IST
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