Zoom chats and privacy

Posted on Categories Zoom

Every so often we get a question about private chats and meeting recordings. Let’s setup this scenario to illustrate how this works. Professor A is hosting a class in Zoom. Students B and C are attending. Everyone is using the chat feature of Zoom. Here’s the parameters of how Zoom recording/saving works:

People can only save what they can see.

  • So when Professor A starts recording the meeting the public chats will be saved since Professor A can see them. If B and C are private chatting the professor cannot see them (that’s why they’re private) so they are not saved by the professor’s recording.
  • Suppose student B private chats Professor A about a grade question during the recording. Since Professor A can see that chat it is now saved. So Professor A will want to delete that from the chat file if they are going make the chat available to the class with the recording.
  • Suppose student B private chats student C about Professor A. If student C saves their chat they will have saved that private chat.

One thing to keep in mind is that in Zoom a professor is no different than a student in terms of what they can do. Everyone has the same type of account in Zoom’s eyes. The idea of a professor or student is something we’ve constructed that Zoom knows nothing about. So in the above example Professor A could instead be a student hosting a group project meeting for their accounting class.