Zoom reaches $85 million settlement over ‘Zoombombings’, privacy issues
Written by Finbarr Toesland Thu 5 Aug 2021
Zoom has reached an agreement to pay $85 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the video communicating platform of violating users’ privacy rights by sharing their personal data with Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn.
The lawsuit also alleged Zoom failed to stop hackers disrupt Zoom meetings, resulting in ‘Zoombombing’.
As part of the settlement, Zoom has agreed to introduce new security measures, such as alerting users when third-party apps are used in meetings and offering training to employees on privacy and data handling. So-called ‘Zoombombings’ saw video conference calls on Zoom being hacked by often offensive images or videos
The proposed settlement, which still needs to be approved by US District Judge Lucy Koh, offers subscribers a 15% refund on their subscriptions or $25, whichever amount is larger, with those with free accounts on the line to receive up to $15.
Lawyers representing Zoom users are also seeking $21.3m in legal fees from the company, in addition to the $85 million settlement. This is not the first legal challenge faced by Zoom, earlier this year the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) finalised its settlement with the company after the FTC complained that Zoom misled users by saying it provided end-to-end 256-bit encryption when this was not accurate according to the FTC.
A Zoom spokesperson said: ”The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us. We are proud of the advancements we have made to our platform, and look forward to continuing to innovate with privacy and security at the forefront.”
Zoom, which exploded in popularity as the pandemic forced many employees to work from home, denies any wrongdoing in the settlement.