A TikToker has gone viral after sharing a shocking discovery about Zoom’s AI Companion feature, which allegedly sent her an email with a detailed summary of everything she and her sister said in a work meeting.
TikTok user Margot (@margaschino) posted a video on September 27 showing the email she received from Zoom after a meeting she and her sister, who works for the same company, both attended. The email contained a summary of their conversation, including personal comments about their work attire, current work locations, new assignments, and even their discussion about the TV show Game of Thrones.
“So my sister and I both work from home for the same company and we just had a Zoom meeting. And for the first time I got this email in my inbox after the meeting. It says, ‘Meeting summary with AI companion.’ And it has a summary of everything that we talked about,” Margot said in the video.
She then showed the email from the Zoom AI Companion on her screen, which had sections that were titled, “Work Attire and New Assignment”, “Character’s Complex Plot and Dynamics”, and “Fans Discuss Game of Thrones Scenes.”
“So right when we logged on my sister’s like, ‘Oh, I love your sweater’, and I was like, ‘Thank you’ … Look at this,” Margot said, pointing at the section in the email that summarized that part of the siblings’ conversation. It read, “Katia expressed admiration for Margot’s sweater and the two compared their current work locations.”
Margot expressed her discomfort with the feature, saying, “It literally tracked everything that we said. I don’t know how I feel about this.”
The video quickly amassed over 1.3 million views, with many viewers going to the comment section to express similar concerns about Zoom’s AI Companion as well as the company’s privacy and data collection practices.
“This feels illegal,” one user wrote.
“I would never speak again in a meeting,” another commented.
“My company banned zoom globally because of this feature. Zoom had access to share this information now with third party companies,” a third user claimed.
“Zoom is legally allowed to use your words and meetings in any way shape or form they want after the fact. It’s actually really insane,” a fourth warned.
“Where does all that data go?” someone else wondered.
According to Zoom, all AI Companion features, including “Meeting Summary” have to manually be turned on by an administrator and are otherwise turned off by default.
However, in a note on data usage, the website says, “For features in AI Companion that use third-party AI model providers, we will share relevant data with those third-parties when you use the feature. Data may be processed within U.S. based data centers.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Margot and Zoom via email for further comment about the new AI Companion feature.
*First Published: Sep 29, 2023, 5:53 pm CDT
Vladimir Supica is a Serbia-based freelance writer for the Daily Dot. He enjoys traveling through Europe, reading non-fiction books, and playing with his dog Max.