Zoom to pay $85M to settle privacy, ‘Zoombombing’ lawsuit

SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a sweeping settlement filed Saturday afternoon, Zoom Video Communications Inc. agreed to pay $85 million and heighten security practices to settle a lawsuit claiming it shared users’ personal data with a host of platforms and allowed hackers to disrupt video conferences.

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The preliminary settlement requires approval by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, Reuters reported.

According to Bloomberg, the settlement will pay up to $25 to each paid Zoom subscriber covered by the class action suit and up to $15 to individuals “who aren’t eligible to submit a paid subscription claim.”

Specifically, the suit alleged that San Jose-based Zoom misled consumers about encryption security and improperly shared data with Facebook Inc., as well as Google and LinkedIn, Bloomberg reported.

The video conferencing powerhouse denied any wrongdoing in reaching the settlement and issued the following statement Sunday: “The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us.”

Meanwhile, Zoom also agreed to implement security upgrades, including alerting users when meeting hosts or other participants use third-party apps in meetings and providing specialized training to employees on privacy and data handling, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Zoombombing occurs when outsiders “hijack Zoom meetings and display pornography, use racist language or post other disturbing content.” Koh characterized Zoom as “mostly” immune from Zoombombing allegations under Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which shields online platforms from liability over user content, the outlet reported.

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