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Zoom Reverses AI Training Policy After Backlash

Zoom recently updated their Terms and Services after receiving backlash on requiring users to allow their data to be used in AI training. Now, they confirm that they will not use Customer Content without consent.
Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash
Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash
August 8, 2023 10:55 pm

Zoom has recently updated their Terms and Service in response to the online backlash after requiring users to allow their data to be used in machine learning and AI training.

Chief Product Officer of Zoom, Smita Hashim, clarified that Zoom will not use audio, video, or chat customer content to train their AI models without consent from users.

After the terms in Section 10.2 (Service Generated Data; Consent to Use) received a lot of concerns online, Smita Hashim confirms that they immediately updated the terms to clear out  confusion among users.

The terms and service under Section 10.4 now says “Notwithstanding the above, Zoom will not use audio, video or chat Customer Content to train our artificial intelligence models without your consent.” Zoom made sure to emphasize it as it was written in bold text.

The new changes, specifically applied in Section 10.4 of their terms of service, aims to give users an idea of their approach to “two essential aspects” of their services; Zoom’s AI features and customer content sharing for improvement purposes. 

“Our goal is to enable Zoom account owners and administrators to have control over these features and decisions, and we’re here to shed light on how we do that and how that affects certain customer groups,” Smitha Hashim added.

According to Zoom, they have changed their terms of service in efforts to be more transparent to their users on how they use content across the platform.

In a recent release, Zoom elaborated on the purpose of changing their terms of service, stating that they “strive to provide transparency about data ownership” and these new terms aim to ensure that their usage of customer content is based on consent. 

Furthermore, their recent release ‘How Zoom’s terms of service and practices apply to AI features’ also explained their intention behind the changes, especially on the controversial sections of their terms and services. 

To elaborate on the recent changes, Zoom claims that;

  • In Section 10.1, they have the permission to use the Customer Content to provide value-added services but their users continue to own and have control over their content (own audio, video, and chat content).
  • In Section 10.2, they use service generated data to make the user experience better (telemetry, diagnostic data, etc.)
  • In Section 10.4, they make sure that if they provide value-added services (such as a meeting recording) they have the ability to do so without questions of usage rights. 

In a recent report, these changes on the terms and service of Zoom intend to “make the user experience better,” despite indicating that they can use the collected data for any purpose permitted “under applicable Law” in training AI.

Now that they immediately responded to the backlash and updated the terms, the clarification on valuing consent somewhat assures users that Zoom does listen. 

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Written by Andy Hoo
Andy is an investigative tech journalist at Gold Penguin. Besides being a journalist with the heart and mind for truth and credibility, he is also a passionate content creator who loves making informative and recreational videos. He writes all types of news in the technology & AI industry.
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