According to newly revised terms of service, Zoom wants to use some of your data to develop its artificial intelligence algorithms.
If you read past the front-loading sections on software license, beta services, and compliance in the most recent modification to the terms of service for the video platform, the tiny print appears to expose an important choice in Zoom’s AI strategy.
The revision, which became effective on July 27, confirms Zoom’s ability to use specific consumer data elements for building and fine-tuning its machine-learning and AI models.
Zoom may now train its AI using “service-generated data” such as client information on product usage, telemetry and diagnostic data, and comparable content or data that the business has gathered. There is no way to opt out of it.
Although businesses frequently use this data category for these objectives, the new terms represent a cautious move toward Zoom’s own AI goals.
The upgrade comes amid a heated public discussion over how much personal data, no matter how aggregated or anonymized, should be used to train AI systems.
A large portion of online text or photos are used to train chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Microsoft’s Bing as well as image-generation programs like Mi journey and Stable Diffusion. Recent months have seen a rise in legal actions brought by authors or creatives who claim to see their own work reflected in the results of generative AI tools.
In accordance with the terms of Zoom, “You consent to Zoom’s access, use, collection, creation, modification, distribution, processing, sharing, maintenance, and storage of Service Generated Data for any purpose, to the extent and in the manner permitted by applicable Law, including for the purpose of… machine learning or artificial intelligence (including for the purpose of training and tuning of algorithms and models).”
Messages, files, and documents from customers do not appear to fall under this category. The company Zoom stated in a subsequent blog post that “for AI, we do not use audio, video, or chat content for training our models without customer consent.” The important part is “without customer consent.”
The tools for creating chat messages and meeting summaries were two new generative AI technologies that Zoom unveiled in June. Customers could choose whether to utilize them after a free trial period.
However, before a user can access these capabilities, Zoom requires them to sign a consent form authorizing Zoom to use their unique customer content to train its AI models.
According to Zoom’s blog post, “Your content is used solely to enhance the effectiveness and precision of these AI services.”
In a statement, a representative for the business noted that “Zoom clients decide whether to use generative AI features and separately whether to share consumer content with Zoom for product improvement objectives.