Zoom settles user privacy case for $85M

Zoom Video Communications Inc. has settled a privacy lawsuit for $85 million over the violation of user privacy rights and hacking, Reuters reported.

The case alleges that the teleconferencing software program was sharing personal data with various social media platforms, including Facebook and LinkedIn, and was allowing “Zoombombing,” where hackers would disrupt meetings by sharing pornographic images and racial slurs.

A preliminary settlement, which still requires approval from a judge, was filed on Saturday.

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The company, based in San Jose, Calif., denied any wrongdoing in the case.

Zoom said in a statement to The Hill, "The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us," a Zoom spokesperson said in a statement. "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." 

As part of the settlement, Zoom agreed to update its security measures, inducing to alert its users when meeting hosts use a third-party app. It will also conduct better training for employees on privacy and data handling, Reuters reported. 

Zoom membership has grown exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a growing number of employees were forced to work from home.

Zoom subscribers who are part of the lawsuit will be eligible to receive refunds on their subscriptions, Reuters noted. In addition to the $85 million settlement, attorneys are also seeking more than $21 million in legal fees. Zoom had collected about $1.3 billion in Zoom meeting subscriptions from members of the lawsuit, Reuters reported.