Zoom responds to controversy, confirms customer consent is needed to train AI

Dell UltraSharp webcam
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Several reports highlighted that Zoom's terms of services suggested the company could use customer data to train AI without user consent or a clear way to opt out of sharing data for AI training.
  • Zoom has since updated its terms of service to confirm customers need to consent to the use of data for training AI models.

Zoom found itself in hot water when several reports highlighted the fact that the company's terms of service suggested customer data could be used to train AI without consent. There was no clear way to opt out of your data being used to train Zoom's AI models, which caused quite a bit of controversy. Since those reports emerged, Zoom has updated its terms of service regarding user data.

The updated Zoom blog post now mentions consent several times when it comes to user data.

"For AI, we do not use customer audio, video, or chat content for training our models without customer consent," states Zoom. That phrase now appears in both the company's blog post and its terms of service in section 10.4

Zoom introduced Zoom IQ Meeting Summary and Zoom IQ Team Chat Compose recently. Those features automate meeting summaries and chat composition through the power of artificial intelligence. They were also what sparked the controversy over if and how user data was used without consent.

Zoom now emphasizes that account owners and admins can choose if they want to use these features and that there is a clear process for opting to allow Zoom to use data to train the company's models.

"When you choose to enable Zoom IQ Meeting Summary or Zoom IQ Team Chat Compose, you will also be presented with a transparent consent process for training our AI models using your customer content," states Zoom.

"Your content is used solely to improve the performance and accuracy of these AI services. And even if you chose to share your data, it will not be used for training of any third-party models."

Zoom faces several obstacles these days. The company saw a surge in market value and popularity during the pandemic, but it has lost at least $100 billion in value since its peak. Zoom also issued an ironic mandate that some of its workers now have to return to offices at least two days per week.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.