In the Media: Katie Gardner on making changes to terms of service

August 7, 2023Insights

Gunderson Dettmer partner Katie Gardner was interviewed by VentureBeat for its “Freedom of choice? How recent Zoom AI policy changes betrayed consumer trust” article.

Zoom is facing criticism for quietly altering its Terms of Service (TOS) in March, allowing AI training on user data without an opt-out option. The change has sparked concerns about privacy, choice, and trust in AI usage. This incident underscores broader challenges for tech companies to balance regulatory compliance and user trust in the evolving landscape of AI data usage.

Katie Gardner spoke on the matter stating, “Companies need to notify users of material changes to their practices if they want the changes to be legally enforceable against them. At least in the case of Zoom, if done quietly, it was likely because the change wasn’t material — it was just stating more explicitly something it [had] already retained the rights to do.”

That said, she pointed out that tech companies are currently making these updates because they’re seeing backlash from regulators. “The methods by which companies are collecting consent for using user data for training purposes are targets of enhanced regulatory review,” she said. “In addition to fines, the outcome in both was to require the companies to delete proprietary models — a penalty that will be meaningful for any company investing heavily into training their own models.”

Read the full article here.