zoom, video call, ai, regulation, compliance, consent, affiliate marketing, social media marketing

Zoom uses customer data to inform AI without consent

Zoom is under fire for apparently using customer calls to inform its AI capabilities – without consent.

The video call platform has long been suspected of using customer calls and data to better inform its AI capabilities, with customers noticing changes to its Terms of Service in March that suggested there were plans for AI training in the future.

The backlash has caused Zoom to release a blog statement that says emphatically that they do not use customer calls to inform AI.

The platform offered a lengthy statement on its blog, some of which read “It’s important to us at Zoom to empower our customers with innovative and secure communication solutions. We’ve updated our terms of service to further confirm that we will not use audio, video, or chat customer content to train our artificial intelligence models without your consent.”

“As part of our commitment to transparency and user control, we are providing clarity on our approach to two essential aspects of our services: Zoom’s AI features and customer content sharing for product 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.”

However, an expert talking to the BBC, data protection specialist Robert Bateman, said “The terms appeared to give the service provider a lot of freedom to use data generated by its users for many different purposes.” Adding that “alarm bells should ring when you encounter broad contractual provisions like these”.

What does this mean for your brand?

As AI rolls out, no doubt compliance and regulation will roll out alongside it. Whether it’s used for marketing or operative purposes, it’s important as brands to consider these regulations for the sake of not only your company and brand but for your users and customers.

In this instance, Zoom may not have broken any laws, but their reputation has been damaged. The biggest mistake for a social media brand, and indeed a lot of brands, is to appear to be untrustworthy.

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