Software Freedom Conservancy, a non-profit powerhouse championing open-source projects, recently raised eyebrows with a bold statement: "It's time to drop Zoom!" This comes on the heels of their recent critique against GitHub.
Zoom's recent policy updates sparked this controversy. In March, the company tweaked its T&Cs, hinting at leveraging user data for machine learning – raising a storm on social platforms. While Zoom tried to play damage control by refining its language, the deed was done. Critics argue that Zoom could still alter its data use terms, leaving users in a perpetual game of "check and update."
The Conservancy's frustration is palpable. They lament, “Companies, like Zoom, flex their power, often banking on users’ inability to decipher complex T&Cs or explore alternatives.”
But this isn’t the Conservancy's debut in challenging tech behemoths. Last year, they urged developers to steer clear of GitHub, following concerns about its Copilot feature.
Zoom, though a global sensation during the lockdowns, was never the Conservancy's cup of tea. Their reluctance was clear as they dialed into Zoom meetings via phone, sidestepping the app. They explain, "The pressure to join a Zoom call, sometimes risking your job if you decline, is immense."
What's the way forward? The Conservancy is promoting BigBlueButton, an open-source virtual platform. It's now part of their official infrastructure offered to FOSS projects. They're encouraging the open-source community to hop on, further running sessions on how to set up BigBlueButton servers.
Their mission? “Prioritizing consumer rights over corporate gains,” a sentiment resonating with many in the tech world today.