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Video conferencing tools are now part of everyday life. As remote work has become the norm across the globe, tools like Facetime, WhatsApp, Zoom, Hangouts, Skype and Microsoft Teams have seen online activity explode. But how private and secure are these video conferencing tools? And what type of tool should you consider using for your own business? A deeper dive reveals that the privacy and security of some of these tools are far from perfect.

Privacy vs. Security

The first thing you should know is that privacy and security are two different things. Privacy refers to individuals’ universal rights to control their data. Security is how that data is protected. When it comes to security, companies preferably use end-to-end encryption to ensure that even the companies themselves do not have access to the contents of anyone’s communication. As far as privacy is concerned, you better hope companies aren’t collecting data about your video calls and selling that data to third parties.

Zoom

In its latest privacy policy, Zoom claims it “does not allow third parties to use any personal data, unless you consent.” However, many people skip this part of Zoom’s terms of service, meaning most users unknowingly consent to Zoom selling their data. Also, Zoom recently made headlines when it became clear unwanted users could ‘crash’ random Zoom calls, but recent updates have fortunately added an additional layer of security to Zoom’s video calls.

Microsoft Teams

On the other hand, Microsoft Teams’ privacy policy leaves no questions. It explicitly states that it “collects data from you, through our interactions with you and through our products.” Microsoft is upfront about using people’s information. According to Microsoft, they use your information to personalize your experience and to participate in legal investigations. Microsoft may frame it this way, but make no mistake, all personal data on their platform is fair game.

Skype

For many, Skype was the tool that introduced them to video conferencing. But Skype is definitely not perfect. It shares user data with third parties, across the entire Microsoft family, and even with law enforcement when asked. To up its security, like Microsoft Teams, Skype uses dual-factor authentication, but it also ended up succumbing to Microsoft’s massive customer breach earlier this year.

WhatsApp & FaceTime

WhatsApp & FaceTime both provide end-to-end encryption, and are relatively private and secure. Consumer-facing products are often more regulated, so there is no need to worry about your data when using any of these two applications. So far, the two applications have been without major security breaches. But let’s face it, we do not use WhatsApp or FaceTime for any business meetings anyway.

Interpreter Intelligence

At Interpreter Intelligence, we are committed to your privacy and security. All our video and voice calls have end-to-end encryption, and we never record or store any calls. Interpreter Intelligence is fully HIPAA compliant, and always has been. If you provide remote interpretation services, you can rely on us to run your business. Contact our team for a demo, or for more information on our platform’s privacy and security. And don’t forget to do your research before you click ‘Agree’ next time!

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