Zoom Achieves $ 85 Million User Privacy Settlement, “Zoombombing”


Aug 1 (Reuters) – Zoom Video Communications Inc (ZM.O) has agreed to pay $ 85 million and tighten its security practices to settle a lawsuit claiming it violated users’ privacy rights by sharing personal data with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn, and letting hackers disrupt Zoom meetings in a practice called Zoombombing.

A preliminary settlement filed Saturday afternoon requires the approval of U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif.

Subscribers to the proposed class action would be eligible for a 15% refund on their basic subscriptions or $ 25, whichever is greater, while others could receive up to $ 15.

Zoom has agreed to security measures, including alerting users when meeting hosts or other participants use third-party applications during meetings, and providing specialized training to employees on privacy and data management.

The San Jose-based company has denied doing any wrongdoing in agreeing to settle.

In a statement released on Sunday, Zoom said, “The privacy and security of our users is a top priority for Zoom, and we take the trust our users place in us seriously.”

Saturday’s settlement came after Koh on March 11 let plaintiffs pursue certain contractual claims. Read more

Although Zoom raised around $ 1.3 billion in Zoom meeting subscriptions from class members, plaintiffs’ attorneys called the $ 85 million settlement reasonable given the potential for litigation. They plan to ask for up to $ 21.25 million for legal fees.

Zoombombing is where strangers hijack Zoom meetings and post pornography, use racist language, or post other disturbing content.

Koh said Zoom was “primarily” immune from Zoombombing under Section 230 of the Federal Communications Decency Act, which protects online platforms from liability for user content.

Zoom’s customer base has grown six-fold since the COVID-19 pandemic forced more people to work from home.

The company had 497,000 customers with more than 10 employees in April 2021, up from 81,900 in January 2020. It said user growth could slow or decline as more people get vaccinated and return to work. or at school in person. Read more

The case is In re: Zoom Video Communications Inc. Privacy Litigation, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 20-02155.

Report by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Lisa Shumaker

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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