The March 2023 changes to the Zoom Terms of Service (ToS) have recently been reported on and concerns have been raised about what types of content are potentially being used by Zoom to train their Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Here is the statement posted on August 7th, 2023 from Zoom’s Chief Product Officer that clarifies Zoom's ToS updates.
This section of the statement directly addresses WSU’s Zoom account:
What this means for healthcare and education customers
We will not use customer content, including education records or protected health information, to train our artificial intelligence models without your consent.
We routinely enter into student data protection agreements with our education customers and legally required business associate agreements (BAA) with our healthcare customers.
Our practices and handling of education records, pupil data, and protected healthcare data are controlled by these separate terms and applicable laws.
- WSU has a BAA with Zoom that protects our data.
The statement by Zoom also defines two types of data in the ToS as well as which type of data can be used by Zoom to train their AI models.
- Customer Content = Customers create and own their own video, audio, and chat content. Zoom has permission to use this customer content to provide value-added services based on this content, but customers continue to own and control their content.
- Service Generated Data = Information about how Zoom customers in the aggregate use the Zoom product: telemetry, diagnostic data, etc. This is the type of data the ToS stipulates can be used to train Zoom’s AI.
The statement provided by Zoom’s CPO also points out that customers using Zoom’s Generative AI features (Zoom IQ Meeting Summary and Zoom IQ Team Chat Compose) will be presented with a clear consent process for training Zoom’s AI models using customer content. That content is used solely to improve the performance and accuracy of these AI services. And even if a customer chooses to share their data, it will not be used for training of any third-party models.
- It is important to note that those AI features are not turned on by default and WSU does not currently have Zoom’s Generative AI features enabled.
Additionally, Zoom's ToS has been updated with an addition to section 10.4 stating flat out that:
- Zoom will not use audio, video, or chat Customer Content to train our AI models without your consent.
An additional statement from Zoom's CEO Eric S. Yuan on August 9th, 2023:
Given that many friends have reached out to me asking about what had happened over the last two days, I want to set the record straight.
- It is my fundamental belief that any company that leverages customer content to train its AI without customer consent will be out of business overnight.
- Given Zoom's value of care and transparency, we would absolutely never train AI models with customers' content without getting their explicit consent.
If you use our two new generative AI features that have been available on free trial for two months, you can see in the UI that we definitely ask customers if they want to opt-in to share content to improve our products and train our AI models.
- Then why did we make a ToS change in March 2023?
We had a process failure internally that we will fix. Period. Let me be crystal clear - for AI, we do NOT use audio, video, screen share, or chat content for training our AI models without customer explicit consent.
- Many of our users have asked me what Zoom’s next steps would be after I shared this post on August 8th.
- We have two generative AI features on free trial. Even though we have several customers who have opted in to share their content, we haven’t used any customer content to train our AI models.
- After considering all of your feedback, we are committing to all of our customers that we will never use any of their audio, video, chat, screen sharing, attachments and other communications like poll results, whiteboard and reactions to train our AI models.
- We will change our general terms of service, free trial terms of service and our product to reflect this decision very soon.
Zoom's support article on how their AI Companion uses customer data: