An update about how we’re using Zoom at CSCCE

This post was authored by CSCCE’s Director of Community, Alycia Crall.

The CSCCE relies on a number of communication platforms to support programming in our community of practice. One of the primary platforms we have adopted is Zoom, and we currently have two Zoom accounts. One that is used for external programming, training, and events. The second is used internally for staff meetings and other communications.

Background on changes to Zoom

In August 2023, Zoom updated their terms of service that suggested they could use meeting audio, video, chat, screen sharing, and other content to train their Artificial Intelligence (AI) model. At CSCCE, we value making our programming accessible in a range of ways AND we want our learners and community members to feel comfortable speaking freely without any concerns for their privacy. Due to privacy concerns, closed captioning was activated on a case by case basis as we examined how our team and community of practice might be impacted by these changes. 

In response to these privacy concerns, Zoom has since updated their terms of service to clarify that they would not use any meeting content for training their AI model – including when bots are used to provide closed captions. Shortly after that announcement was made, Zoom released its AI Companion. This feature allows accounts to summarize meetings, for attendees to ask questions during the meeting, and to get translation of chat content and meeting summaries. Third party bots were also available to attend meetings on its account holder’s behalf. All of these changes have emerged rapidly, and we have wanted to take time to review them and ensure we are moving forward in a way that addresses the privacy of our members while making our programming accessible.

How we’ll be using Zoom going forwards

Based on all that we have reviewed, we have decided to take the following actions: 

  • Re-enable closed captioning on our external-facing account to support accessibility of external programming and events in the knowledge that while bots are involved, they are not being used to train AI
  • Disable the AI Companion for both of our accounts unless an accommodation request is made    
  • Remove any third party bots from our Zoom rooms unless an accommodation request is made

Please note that even though CSCCE has disabled the AI Companion feature, members of our community of practice may have non-official meetings (e.g., Donut chats or co-working sessions) where someone has this feature enabled on their account. If that is the case, the user will be notified and can request that it be turned off or leave the meeting if they are not comfortable with these settings.

We appreciate your patience as we have worked to navigate this rapidly changing landscape. If you have any concerns with this policy, please don’t hesitate to email us at info@cscce.org.