Zoom has transformed the way we connect, is taking an innovative stride into the realm of artificial intelligence. In a recent update to its terms of service, Zoom has subtly revealed a pivotal decision in its AI roadmap — the utilization of your data to train and fine-tune its AI models.
Effective from July 27, the updated terms of service have strategically positioned sections on software licensing, beta services, and compliance. Beyond this, the finer details divulge Zoom’s newfound AI strategy. In essence, Zoom is now empowered to harness specific aspects of customer data for the purpose of enhancing its AI capabilities, including machine-learning models.
10.2 Service Generated Data; Consent to Use. Customer Content does not include any telemetry data, product usage data, diagnostic data, and similar content or data that Zoom collects or generates in connection with your or your End Users’ use of the Services or Software (“Service Generated Data”). As between you and Zoom, all right, title, and interest in and to Service Generated Data, and all Proprietary Rights therein, belong to and are retained solely by Zoom. You agree that Zoom compiles and may compile Service Generated Data based on Customer Content and use of the Services and Software. 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 under applicable Law, including for the purpose of product and service development, marketing, analytics, quality assurance, machine learning or artificial intelligence (including for the purposes of training and tuning of algorithms and models), training, testing, improvement of the Services, Software, or Zoom’s other products, services, and software, or any combination thereof, and as otherwise provided in this Agreement. In furtherance of the foregoing, if, for any reason, there are any rights in such Service Generated Data which do not accrue to Zoom under this Section 10.2 or as otherwise provided in this Agreement, you hereby unconditionally and irrevocably assign and agree to assign to Zoom on your behalf, and you shall cause your End Users to unconditionally and irrevocably assign and agree to assign to Zoom, all right, title, and interest in and to the Service Generated Data, including all Proprietary Rights relating thereto.
This intriguing endeavour involves what Zoom terms “service-generated data.” This encompasses customer insights into product usage, telemetry, diagnostic data, and analogous content or information captured by the platform. Notably, there is no opt-out provision, signalling Zoom’s dedicated commitment to its AI ambitions.
While the practice of using such data for AI training is not uncommon, these updated terms mark a deliberate step toward Zoom’s AI aspirations. This development comes at a time when public discourse surrounding AI’s use of personal data, regardless of its aggregation or anonymization, has been growing. Top AI-powered tools, from chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT to image-generation utilities, have been embroiled in debates regarding ownership and attribution.
The updated terms stipulate, “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 under applicable Law, including for the purpose of … machine learning or artificial intelligence (including for the purposes of training and tuning of algorithms and models).”
It’s essential to note that customer content such as messages, files, and documents seem to be excluded from this category. In a clarifying blog post, Zoom asserted that audio, video, or chat content is not employed for AI model training without customer consent. The pivotal phrase here is “without customer consent.”
In a dynamic stride toward transparency, Zoom introduced two new generative AI features in June — a meeting summary tool and a chat message composition tool. This provision comes with a twist: customers decide whether to use these features and, if they do, they must grant consent for Zoom to employ their individual customer content for AI model training.
“Your content is used solely to improve the performance and accuracy of these AI services,” said Zoom in the blog post.
A spokesperson for the company highlighted that the decision rests with Zoom’s customers, giving them the power to enable generative AI features and determine whether to share customer content with Zoom for product enhancement purposes.
Zoom’s journey into the world of AI is poised to enrich the user experience, enhance connectivity, and propel the platform to new heights. As the lines between technology and human interaction continue to blur, Zoom’s AI endeavour promises to reshape our digital landscape.