Zoom Makes Improvements to Privacy Policy after Consumer Reports Investigation

Yonkers, NY —Consumer Reports recently uncovered a range of privacy concerns with Zoom, a videoconferencing service that has gained in popularity as consumers, businesses, and schools have come to rely on the platform during the coronavirus pandemic.

Researchers at CR’s Digital Lab found that Zoom, like many digital platforms, outlines in its privacy policy that it collects personal information about its users, but failed to disclose details about how that information is used for advertising, marketing, or other business purposes. Such information, known as “Customer Content” could include cloud video recordings and information that was shared during the recordings such as instant messages, files, and whiteboards.

After these findings by CR, Zoom made significant changes to its privacy policies, which was announced in a blog post and detailed in a new CR article. The updated policy now states that so-called “Customer Content” is not allowed for advertising purposes, that video is only retained at the user’s request, and that it’s not accessed by Zoom. The new policy also provides more insight into the type of consumer data Zoom collects, such as phone numbers and user names.

While CR is pleased to see the quick response by Zoom, there is still work to be done. For example, Zoom should make a clear differentiation between hosts and participants, and require participants to click on a consent button before a recording can begin.  

For more information about the Digital Lab visit: https://digital-lab.consumerreports.org/

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Contact: Cyrus Rasool, cyrus.rasool@consumer.org