Zoom to pay $85M in privacy lawsuit settlement
TBIT / Pixabay
Zoom to pay $85M in privacy lawsuit settlement

Zoom agreed to pay $85 million in a class action lawsuit settlement on Saturday after users accused Zoom of violating their privacy rights.

Several plaintiffs joined the class action lawsuit against Zoom, alleging that the video conferencing platform violated California law by: “(1) sharing Plaintiffs’ personally identifiable information with third parties; (2) misstating Zoom’s security capabilities; and (3) failing to prevent security breaches known as ‘Zoombombing.'”

The plaintiffs first alleged that Zoom provided users’ personally identifiable information to Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn without their permission. The plaintiffs then claimed that Zoom misrepresented its security capabilities and could “still access the video and audio content of Zoom meetings.” Lastly, the plaintiffs alleged that Zoom failed to prevent “Zoombombing,” which are security breaches by hackers who join a meeting to engage in disorderly conduct, for instance, by displaying pornography or screaming derogatory expressions.

Zoom moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims by citing to § 230(c)(1) of the Communications Decency Act, which states that an interactive computer service provider should not “be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” Zoom also contended that the plaintiffs failed to allege harm. US District Judge Lucy Koh for the Northern District of California granted the plaintiffs’ leave to amend certain claims and denied the motion to dismiss for the remaining claims.

Last November the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) directed Zoom to enhance its security practices in a settlement with US regulators. Similarly, in that case, the FTC alleged that Zoom provided a false sense of security with misleading claims and practices. In response, Zoom agreed to inspect software updates for security flaws.

Koh will review Zoom’s preliminary settlement agreement in the class action lawsuit on Wednesday, and she must approve the offer to finalize the settlement.