web: prevent Read.ai intrusive Zoom lurking now

OK, I try lots of different AI applications and just to warn all of you read.ai is the worst. Basically, once you enable it to use Zoom, even if you disconnect it, it will keep recording and end up as a participant in all your meetings. For some reason, I got a year of free professional and the thing is scary intrusive, so some warnings:

  1. If you enable the Google Calendar connection, it will start entering as a participant in all your Google Meets. You can’t even kick the thing out if you don’t own the meeting.
  2. For Zoom, I did connect it, but once you do, there is no way in the user interface to disconnect it. You can’t say don’t ever listen again. You can tell their Zoom participant not to connect by chatting to it, but it is disconcerting to have such an intrusive application. Note that this happens even on End-to-end encrypted conversations (where Zoom apps are by definition disabled).
  3. There is quite a bit on Reddit that even if you delete the account, it will continue to use the private app token that it has squirreled away.

So just be careful with applications like this that they don’t do this. These AI recorders are pretty bad. The main things to do:

  1. Use End 2 End (E2E) as much as possible and disable as many of the Zoom apps as possible.
  2. For intrusive apps like Read.ai, be really careful about connecting as they may not disconnect and have your calendar and can in effect eavesdrop on all your meetings. It does show up as a participant, but you can miss this in larger meetings.

At the top of the FAQ is the idea that maybe it was your fault, you have two Read.ai accounts or there is someone with a Read.ai account. But it would be so easy to just say I’m Read.ai and I’m logging on because this email gave me permissions rather than hunting amongst your meeting participants who accidentally signed on.

If you do see this, you should be able to chat on Zoom (if you own the meeting) to drop, but again it’s impossible to know who authorized this, and kicking only works for the meeting hosts.

They have buried in their FAQ how to disable autojoin meeting, man this should be really much higher on the list, it is in Account Settings > Meeting Assistant, and disable all their stuff, note that with this application if you don’t delete it, I can’t find a way just to disable all joining. The other big thing is to disable all calendar sharing, this is pretty scary that it will just autojoin anything it finds. Also, it enables any participant to see metrics and stats, you don’t want that, particularly for external meetings.

I can see the use case for read.ai, but it is scraping so much data and transcribing everything (and I’m sure using it for training) that. And turn off all their default sending you spam etc.

As an aside, this is where Delete my account lives, it is not close to the top.

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