Zoom Settles a Class-Action Privacy Lawsuit by Paying $86m

Video Conferencing Firm Is Accused of Misrepresenting Its Encryption Protocol to End-To-End Encryption

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The video communications firm Zoom has agreed to settle a US class action privacy lawsuit by paying $86 million. The lawsuits have allegedly stated that Zoom had been doing invasion of privacy into millions of its users across the globe by sharing some of their personal information with LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook. Zoom settles a class-action suit after they also accused the firm of stating wrong information regarding end-to-end encryption, along with failing to prevent potential hackers from ‘zoombombing’ into live sessions.

US Class action lawsuit

Although the software company has denied all claims of wrongdoing, but have fully complied with increasing their security performance. The settlement is done on a preliminary basis, which also includes a provisional amount to their working staff members that have training specialized in privacy and data handling, but it is subject to gain confirmed approval from the United States District Judge Lucy Koh present in San Jose, California.

The spokesperson gave a statement regarding the issue of Zoom settles class-action lawsuit in the United States that the security and privacy of all their users worldwide is a top priority of the firm, and they have taken the trust of millions of consumers in them as a serious thing. The software firm Zoom is proud of the forthcoming advancements and innovations they have been able to make on the platform and is looking forward to continuing their innovation by keeping the security and privacy of the clients at the forefront.

Zoom settles a class-action privacy lawsuit for $86 million, which was initially filed in the month of March 2020 in the Northern District of California’s District Court in the United States. This is one of the multiple legal complaints that have been filed against the United States-based video conferencing firm since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The class-action lawsuit was filed in the US court on behalf of numerous paid subscribers and free users of Zoom Meetings that are present nationwide.

According to the lawyers of the plaintiff, the subscribers of Zoom in the US have been able to generate more than $1.3 billion in profits for the software company.

In case Zoom settles a class-action privacy lawsuit for $86 million, the subscribers that are included in the class action would be eligible to receive 15% of the refund of the amount paid for their subscription for Zoom Meetings, or $25, whichever amount is greater, while other users might be able to receive the amount of $15 each.

The plaintiff’s lawyers also intend to gain around $21.3 million from Zoom in the form of their legal fees.

In the month of March, before the agreement that Zoom settles a class-action case, the firm had asked the US court to dismiss the motion. However, District Judge Lucy Koh had granted to dismiss only a part of the lawsuit, which was pertained to negligence and invasion of privacy; meanwhile, she had allowed the plaintiffs involved in the case to continue the pursue other claims that are related to the firm’s contracts.

Privacy concerns and Zoombombing

Zoom had been under criticism for a long duration regarding the approach taken by them on security before the recent issue where Zoom settles a class-action lawsuit in the United States.

One of the major issues that have caused some of the firms to terminate the usage of Zoom Meetings amid the coronavirus pandemic was the increasing incidents of zoombombing, where uninvited guest users were interrupting important meetings and causing problems.

According to a news report, in the month of April in the previous year, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual Chipotle event was being conducted but was disrupted when anonymous hackers were able to gain access into the meeting and started to broadcast pornographic clips to hundreds of users that were attending the meeting.

In the past recent months, Zoom has also been indicted with scrutiny due to various security flaws, including the platform becoming vulnerable when attendees for a meeting are removed by attackers, along with spoof test messages from other users and hijacking the shared screen option. It has also been reported that Mac users are being forced into voice calls in the background without any knowledge of the user.

Along with all these security concerns for the software firm, it has also been accused in the class-action lawsuit that the video conferencing platform does not have the facility for end-to-end encryption and has been misrepresenting their encryption protocol for a long time to the general users. This allows Zoom to gain access to all the audio and video of the meetings which are being conducted on their platform. Zoom settles a class action and is working to further increase security protocols.

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