Zoom’s Machine Learning Backlash stackdiary.com

Alex Ivanovs, Stackdiary:

Zoom’s updated policy states that all rights to Service Generated Data are retained solely by Zoom. This extends to Zoom’s rights to modify, distribute, process, share, maintain, and store such data “for any purpose, to the extent and in the manner permitted under applicable law.”

What raises alarm is the explicit mention of the company’s right to use this data for machine learning and artificial intelligence, including training and tuning of algorithms and models. This effectively allows Zoom to train its AI on customer content without providing an opt-out option, a decision that is likely to spark significant debate about user privacy and consent.

Smita Hashim of Zoom (emphasis theirs):

We changed our terms of service in March 2023 to be more transparent about how we use and who owns the various forms of content across our platform.


To reiterate: we do not use audio, video, or chat content for training our models without customer consent.

Zoom is trialling a summary feature which uses machine learning techniques, and it appears administrators are able to opt out of data sharing while still having access to the feature. But why is all of this contained in a monolithic terms-of-service document? Few people read these things in full and even fewer understand them. It may appear simpler, but features which require this kind of compromise should have specific and separate documentation for meaningful explicit consent.