Zoom to pay $85m as part of class-action settlement for allegations of privacy violations and zoombombing
Zoom has settled a class-action lawsuit for $85 million, which accused the firm of inappropriately disclosing customer data through third-party software connections with multiple digital platforms. The tentative settlement [PDF] was filed over the weekend and is awaiting approval from the court.
Between March and May of last year, 14 lawsuits were filed against Zoom, which was consolidated into a class-action lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Zoom allegedly misled customers about its encryption capabilities, shared user data with digital platforms without an agreement, and had insufficient security and privacy safeguards, resulting in unwanted and unauthorised interruptions of Zoom meetings by outsider participants, popularly termed as Zoombombings. The US Department of Justice last year made zoombombing a crime, with anyone who do it facing fines or penalties on several state and federal offences.
If authorised, the $85 million would be allocated so that users who paid for an account between April and October 2020 would be entitled to the greater of 15% of the money they paid to Zoom for their main Zoom Meetings subscription or $25. Other customers who did not have a paying account, on the other hand, may be able to get up to $15.
Although class members paid Zoom $1.3 billion in subscriptions, the plaintiffs' lawyers argued the $85 million settlement was appropriate given the litigation's severe risks.
Zoom has committed to making certain adjustments aimed at boosting security, bolstering privacy, and safeguarding user data in addition to paying the $85 million fine. By alerting users when a meeting host or another participant uses a third-party application during a meeting, the firm has committed to deliver in-meeting notifications to make it easier for users to understand who can see, save, and share Zoom users' information and material.
For a year, Zoom will not incorporate the Facebook software development kit (SDK) for iOS into Zoom meetings and will request that Facebook remove any US customer data received through the SDK. The plaintiffs have also demanded that Zoom pay its legal fees, which would amount to an additional $21.25 million in the settlement motion.
Zoom will have disputed any wrongdoings charged in the case if the settlement is approved.