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Rep. McNerney and Colleagues Push Zoom for Answers About the Company’s Privacy Practices

Apr 3, 2020
Press Release

Stockton, CA – Today, Rep. Jerry McNerney sent a letter to Zoom’s CEO, Eric Yuan, raising concerns and questions regarding the company’s privacy practices. He was joined by 18 of his Democratic colleagues from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Zoom has experienced a surge in users during COVID-19, and in March of this year, hit a record 200 million daily users.

… With the devastating coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forcing so many to work, learn, and socialize remotely, Americans across the country are turning to video conferencing solutions like Zoom at an unprecedented scale. Such technologies have never been more vital to keeping governments running, companies and organizations afloat, and friends and families connected. But our new dependency on such solutions raises important questions about the privacy practices of the companies many of us are interacting with for the first time,” the Members wrote

The Members continued, “Despite Zoom’s recent clarifications to its privacy policy, a review of Zoom’s privacy policy shows that Zoom may still collect a significant amount of information about both registered and non-registered users from their use of the platform as well as from third parties. Zoom may use that information for a broad range of purposes, including for targeted marketing from both Zoom and third parties… As consumers turn to Zoom for business meetings, remote consultations with psychologists, or even virtual happy hours with friends, they may not expect Zoom to be collecting and using so much of their information.”

The letter goes on, “In addition, Zoom boasts several features as part of its app that may infringe on consumer privacy if users are not provided adequate notice. For example, one Zoom feature allows meeting organizers to track whether attendees are paying attention. Paid Zoom subscribers can also have all meetings recorded to the cloud automatically, along with automatic audio transcription.  As many Americans are now using Zoom for the first time, they may not be aware of these capabilities—who is getting access to their information, including the content of their communications.”

The letter then asks a series of questions about Zoom’s privacy practices and requests a response by April 10, 2020.

The following Members joined Rep. McNerney in sending the letter: Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-At-Large), Rep. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14), Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-01), Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-14), Rep. Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), Rep. Robin L. Kelly (IL-02), Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy, III (MA-04), Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52), Rep. Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09), and Rep. Paul Tonko (NY-20).

A full copy of the letter can be found here.

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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.