Risk Update

Remote Work, Client Confidentiality and Compliance

On the heels of last week’s note on digital assistants, comes increasing focus on and scrutiny of third-party conference providers. Today it seems like Zoom is on everyone’s minds, lips and screens. (For unrelated news on that, see: “SEC pauses Zoom Technologies trading because people think it’s Zoom Video“).

With several stories specifically cautioning firms about confidentiality management as team move to remote working, this caught my eye and thoughts: “Zoom needs to clean up its privacy act” —

And:  “Zoom Calls Aren’t as Private as You May Think. Here’s What You Should Know.” —

  • “Zoom’s privacy policy is similar to many digital platforms’, claiming the right to collect and store personal data, and share it with third parties such as advertisers.”
  • “In Zoom’s case, that extends to what the company calls customer content, or ‘the content contained in cloud recordings, and instant messages, files, whiteboards … shared while using the service.'”
  • “Videos aren’t off-limits, according to the document, and neither are transcripts that can be generated automatically, the documents you share on your screen, or the names of everyone on a call. (The privacy policy posted online was updated over the weekend but backdated to Wednesday, March 18.)”
  • “‘Zoom isn’t necessarily doing anything users would object to’ with the data, says Bill Fitzgerald, a Consumer Reports privacy researcher who analyzed the company’s policies. ‘But their terms of use give them a whole lot of leeway to collect information and share it, both now and in the future.’ (Consumer Reports is a Zoom client, using the service for some company-wide meetings.)”

Clearly, some of these risk concerns and issues are tied to the design of the system itself (including some arguably dark design patterns), while some are more related to how users use the system (which might apply to any technology). Still, worth considering what data is being created, collected and stored as the volume of this type of activity grows and grows…