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Smart Recording with AI Companion and Higher Education FERPA clarification


Hi, everyone,


Please bear with me while I set the context for my questions (further below).  This issue is less technical and more contractual.


I support a four-year higher education institution with students primarily over the age of 18.  As with many other higher education institutions, we occasionally also provide technical services to high school students that may be under the age of 18 through "headstart" or "jumpstart" programs.  These under-18 students take university-level courses while still in high school, then receive credit for these courses once they are matriculated.  Technical services for these students may include access to our LMS, Zoom, and other enterprise-wide applications.


In the admin "Settings" for "Ai Companion" --> "Smart Recording with AI Companion," we are prompted to "Learn More."  This leads to "Enabling Smart Recording with AI Companion."


On this page, under "Limitations of Smart Recording," there is a statement that "This is not available for Education accounts that provide educational services to children under the age of 18" with a link to "How to enable the Children's Education Status setting."  This page describes how to enable or disable "Children's Education Setting." I don't see analogous "Limitations" statements in any of the other AI Companion admin settings.


Furthermore, the "Important Message to all K12 School Accounts: Children’s Education Status setting" (from @Pat_laMorte), prompts institutions to self-identify if they provide educational services to children under 18 years of age:


On this page, @ERamstad has a related (and unanswered) question:
"To be clear, this would include accounts for non-public schools, universities and other instructional programs that collect a payment for their instructional services and may have students under 18 participating in programs?"


I have the following questions:

1.  Why is Smart Recording the only feature of AI Companion to have this limitation?

2.  Why are students under the age of 18 limited in their use of Zoom?  Is the problem FERPA related?

3.  If the issue is FERPA-related, what is the governing body that makes these determinations?

4.  Does the limitation (and need to self identify in Zoom) apply to institutions that have students primarily over the age of 18, but may have a few underage students earning non-matriculated credits in a headstart program?


Zoom's FERPA guide makes the following statement:
"FERPA is a U.S. federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records.  These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends school beyond the high school level (an “eligible student”)."


The US Department of Education defines an "eligible students" as:
"An “eligible student” means a student who has reached the age of 18 or who is attending a postsecondary institution at any age. Once a student becomes an “eligible student,” the rights afforded his or her parents under FERPA transfer to that student."


@Bort mentions that:
"As stated in the email and this support article, these 2 AI Companion features have undergone our HIPAA review process and are available for accounts with a BAA, which is typically needed for FERPA and HIPAA compliance. Other AI Companion features have not undergone this process and are thus not yet available for accounts with a BAA in place."


Does this imply that Smart Recording may not require self-identification once it has undergone a review process?


Many thanks for any clarification you can provide!





Community Champion | Zoom Employee
Community Champion | Zoom Employee

Hi @michaelwilder 

Let me review your post with others here at Zoom and get back to you with an answer. 

Community Champion | Zoom Employee
Community Champion | Zoom Employee

Hi @michaelwilder 

We're still working on responses for your specific questions, but in the meantime, I wanted to point out that we've recently updated the FERPA guide you linked to with some information about AI Companion features as it relates to those account types. 

We'll hopefully have more detailed answers next week, as many people are still trickling back in from the holidays.