The statewide stay-at-home mandate due to the public health crisis from the virus that causes COVID-19 has created a need for schools, businesses, and some sectors of the healthcare industry, to operate per usual – remotely.
Video conferencing apps are not new and have been around for quite some time and to date, demand has surged. Some apps have increased in popularity over others because of their unique features. For example, one hugely popular app allows participants to join meetings with ease, switch between participants, share screens, create virtual backgrounds, and write notes that are visible to everyone on the chat in real-time.
As with any app, there may be a downside. It could be sharing information about you without your permission. For example, one app allows meeting hosts to record and monitor calls. This may not be a cause for concern if you are sitting in on a class with classmates, a meeting with colleagues, or conducting a regular session with your existing therapist.
That’s not all. The app can collect data by recording and monitoring calls, retain transcripts, and any documents shared on-screen and the names of participants. Meeting hosts can collect data too, especially if the host is using a corporate account. Meeting hosts are responsible for obtaining consent from a participant to record a meeting. Data collected by the host may be stored in the apps cloud storage at the account holder’s request or the account holder can choose to store the data on their local storage device.
This could mean that a “confidential” web-based session with a mental health professional or health care provider, could be recorded and stored by either the healthcare provider’s organization or stored in the app’s cloud.