Understanding Zoom privacy alerts

The Zoom privacy settings were updated through software updates launched on April 19 and May 24, 2017. We introduced in-product data privacy notifications to make it easier to understand the permissions associated with your Zoom content, such as who may see, save, and share it. In addition to these feature-specific notices, we aim to provide a security and privacy tool within Zoom that allows you to make informed decisions about how to use our products and be able to make more secure and private choices.

The most frequently asked questions about privacy alerts

What is the purpose of introducing in-product privacy notifications?

In the last year, Zoom’s base of customers has expanded from enterprise users to include an increasing number of individuals and small firms. With a few changes in who is using our platform in the future, we will roll out a new set of notifications that will help our users to understand who has access to their content and information. This will be done by displaying which users have permissions to see, save, and share their information in the future. When a user sends a message to everyone in a meeting, they may be aware that the message will be seen by the other participants. But we want to ensure that they can also see those messages even if the organization hosting the meeting (the “account owner”) is not present. Users can view information about the meeting – whether it is being recorded – and can choose whether to share these recordings with apps or others. These Zoom-specific notices can help users make informed decisions about how they use Zoom without disrupting our smooth Zoom experience.

In some notifications, we are told that there is an “owner of the account.” What does that mean? Who is the owner of the account?

Account owners are the individuals and/or organizations who set up the account on Zoom and also manage the account and schedule meetings and webinars on it. Typically, people are designated as administrators or administrative users of the Zoom account by the account owner. Administrators manage the Zoom account settings (often called “administrators” or “admins”). They control which features are available for meetings and events hosted on the account.

How does this new in-product notification system work?

You will now notice when you join a meeting that there are feature-specific notices displayed during the meeting explaining who has access to your content and information, as well as who can save and share them. In the case of Zoom’s chat feature, a user wants to know who can view the messages they send, and is wondering who can access the messages they send to all, or those they send to themselves, they can go to ‘Who can see your messages?’ to learn who can view those they send both publicly and privately. In addition, user can also access similar information for other meeting features – such as transcription, polls, Q&A, registration for meetings and webinars, and live streaming or recording the meeting.

Is there a place where these notifications will be displayed to me?

Those who are using Zoom 5.6.3 or later will see additional privacy notifications before they share on Zoom through features like in-meeting chat, live transcription, polls, Q&As, whiteboards, annotations, post-meeting surveys, and viewing recordings. In addition to these, you will receive notifications when you register for meetings or webinars as well as when meeting recordings and live streaming take place.

The following article provides instructions on how to download the latest version of Zoom.

In some notifications, we are told that there is an “owner of the account.” What does that mean? Who is the owner of the account?

An account owner is the person or organization who sets up an account at Zoom and holds meetings through their account. The account owner is simply the person or organization that owns the account. Typically, when a Zoom account is created, the account owner appoints a person to manage the account settings (also known as an administrator or administrator), who controls which features are available for meetings and events that are hosted on the account.

In addition to this, if I don’t want my content to be shared with these parties, can I opt out of this?

As a participant, you have the option of not sharing your content or information via Zoom, or you can mute your microphone or video, or you can leave the meeting altogether. In order to allow people to make informed decisions before sharing information, Zoom has started to provide notices. This can be seen, for instance, in the chat section.
This message now explains that if a user makes a chat available to everyone in the meeting, that chat will be visible, accessible, and able to be shared by everybody in the meeting, as well as the account owner, if the meeting is being recorded. You can choose to send a chat to everyone or not depending on your preference.

In order to share data with apps, account owners and users will need to understand what this means. Which apps can we share data with?

We have found that many organizations who have created a Zoom account have downloaded apps from our Zoom App Marketplace in order to take advantage of additional features and tools that are offered by Zoom when hosting meetings and webinars. The Zoom Apps – applications that are directly integrated into the Zoom experience – will also be available in the near future. Through Zoom Apps, any user can add apps that will enhance their experience of Zoom meetings, along with the functionality to add new tools and features as well as sharing files and content with apps.

A third-party transcription app, which is enabled by an account owner, offers a transcript of all meetings hosted in that account, so that the account owner can use the transcripts to facilitate his or her internal projects.

There are many video conferencing platforms that allow you to add apps to add features and tools to your video conferencing experience. Almost all of the major video conferencing platforms allow you to do so. It is important to remind attendees that Zoom is taking the extra step here to help them understand how content and information shared during and after meeting and webinars can be shared with accounts, apps, and other meeting participants.