Consumer Reports analyzed the privacy policies of Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and WebEx and found that they may have collected more data than many people realize, according tomedia The Verge. It needs to be clear: Consumer Reports does not mean that these applications are unsafe. (In fact, a separate mozilla report found that almost every major video conferencing application meets basic security standards.) But by agreeing to the privacy policies of these services, you give companies like Google and Microsoft access to a lot of personal data.
According to the report, all three companies retain the right to collect information from a user’s call, including the length of the call, who is on the call, and the IP address of each person who is participating in the call.
As the world becomes more dependent on video conferencing tools, people are also reviewing the security measures and privacy policies of these services. And while the Zoom security breach, which was exposed in April, has led to a series of “Zoom bombings” and other concerns, the data that Microsoft, Google and Cisco can collect is still a cause for alarm.
None of the companies specified exactly what data was collected or how it was used. Consumer Reports does point out that the data collected here can be combined with information from other sources to create users’ profiles and usage habits, and may even be used to train facial recognition systems.
All three companies told Consumer Reports that they would only make video recordings or transcripts when participants asked to record the meeting, and promised that the recordings would not be used “directly” for advertising.