Video chat platforms have exploded in popularity in recent months due to COVID-19. In an attempt to get in on the rush and compete with Zoom, Facebook recently introduced its own feature — Messenger Rooms. But while the social media giant has vaguely promised that it “built Rooms with privacy in mind,” it has offered little information on what it plans to do with user data in the platform.
Facebook did make an explicit promise not to “watch or listen” to these conversations, but experts say that doesn’t address how it will handle the metadata from these calls — like who you’re talking to, when you’re talking to them, and your location data. There’s also a good chance Facebook will change the terms of the platform, and users won’t even know how their privacy is being affected.
“I do think it’s an enforceable contract until [Facebook] changes the terms of service, which they have done repeatedly,” University of Michigan law professor Frank Pasquale told <The Intercept. “Users rarely if ever review such changes, and even if some do, most people will probably just keep using the service. So there’s probably a high risk of that change happening, and there being no significant consequences for [Facebook].”
Though Zoom itself has faced a privacy backlash, there are countless options available on the market. So ask yourself: why would you want to give even more of your information to Facebook?
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