Zoom disables feature that was exposing users’ LinkedIn profiles
This feature was matching anonymous users to their LinkedIn profiles.
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.
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.