Use of Third-Party AI Assistants with Zoom at University

Categories: AI, News, OneIT, Security Tips

Warning: Use of Third-Party AI Assistants with Zoom at University

We would like to address a critical issue regarding the use of third-party AI assistants such as Otter.AI and While these tools can enhance productivity and convenience, their usage poses significant privacy and security risks that have not been assessed by OneIT or Legal Affairs. 

We do not recommend purchasing third-party AI assistants at this time. While the University AI Committee develops guidance, please carefully consider the following concerns:

Privacy Concerns:

  • Data Exposure: Third-party AI assistants may access and store sensitive information shared during Zoom sessions, including personal details, academic discussions, and proprietary research data. This can lead to unintended exposure of confidential information.
  • Unauthorized Data Sharing: These AI tools may share your data with external entities without your explicit consent, potentially violating university policies and privacy regulations.
  • Lack of Control: Users have limited control over how third-party services manage and protect their data, increasing the risk of breaches or misuse.

Security Risks:

  • Vulnerability to Attacks: Third-party AI assistants could introduce vulnerabilities to your devices and networks, making them targets for cyber-attacks, including phishing and malware.
  • Compliance Issues: Using unapproved AI tools may conflict with university compliance requirements, potentially resulting in penalties or legal complications.
  • Data Integrity: There is a risk that third-party services may not maintain the integrity and security of the data they process, leading to potential data corruption or loss.

Best Practices:

  • Use Approved Tools: Only use AI assistants and other digital tools that have been approved by the university’s IT department. These tools have been vetted for compliance with privacy and security standards. The Office of OneIT is currently reviewing Zoom AI Companion.
  • Review Privacy Policies: Before using any third-party AI assistant, thoroughly review their privacy policy and terms of service to understand how your data will be handled.
  • Limit Sensitive Information Sharing: Avoid sharing sensitive or confidential information through third-party AI assistants, especially during Zoom sessions.
  • Opt Out for Attendees: Before using any third-party tools, all attendees should unanimously agree to the use of any third-party assistants. If you attend an external meeting and see a bot is being used, convey your concerns to the host.

By adhering to these guidelines, we can collectively ensure a safer and more secure academic environment. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact the university’s IT support team at

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.