Published: August 4, 2021
Video conferencing company, Zoom, has agreed to settle its controversial privacy lawsuit at $85 million. The said lawsuit was filed soon after the pandemic began in the United States last year when there was a surge in Zoom’s usage due to people working from home.
The settlement is still subject to the approval of a federal judge. Once approved, Zoom subscribers will be eligible to receive a 15% refund or $25 on their subscriptions, whichever is higher. Those with the free version may receive $15. Also, as a part of the settlement, Zoom is to notify the users if others use any third-party apps during a meeting and provide training to its employees on privacy and data management.
Accusations of Zoom sharing users’ personal data without permission with third-party platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google, began to surface as more people started using the video conferencing platform last year. Allegedly, hackers were able to access online meetings through what they called “Zoombombing.”
For example, a church bible study meeting in California was interrupted by pornographic images. There was also an incident of white supremacist messages during a webinar on anti-Semitism. All in all, a total of 14 class-action lawsuits were filed last year over Zoombombing.
Amid such claims, Zoom denied any wrongdoing, further stating that the privacy and security of its users are its priorities. The company has since made some privacy updates, such as implementing more robust encryption and advanced settings that require users to have a passcode or link to join a meeting by default. Following this, the company stated that it is proud of the advancements, anticipating continual innovation with prioritized privacy and security.