Zoom Video Communications Inc agreed to pay $ 85 million and tighten its security practices to resolve a lawsuit alleging it violated users’ privacy rights by sharing personal data with Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, and allowing hackers to disrupt meetings. Zoom in a practice called Zoombombing.
A preliminary settlement presented Saturday afternoon requires the approval of US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.
Subscribers in the proposed class action lawsuit would be eligible for rebates of 15% on their primary subscriptions or $ 25, whichever is greater, while others could receive up to $ 15.
Zoom agreed to security measures that include alerting users when meeting hosts or other participants use third-party applications in meetings, and providing specialized training to employees on privacy and data handling.
The San José-based company denied wrongdoing by accepting a deal. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.
Saturday’s settlement came after Koh on March 11 allowed the plaintiffs to file some contract-based claims.
Although Zoom raised about $ 1.3 billion in subscriptions to Zoom Meetings from group members, the plaintiffs’ attorneys called the $ 85 million settlement reasonable given the litigation risks. They intend to seek up to $ 21.25 million in legal fees.
The Zoom bombing is where outsiders hijack Zoom meetings and display pornography, use racist language, or post other disturbing content.
Koh said Zoom was “for the most part” immune to zoom under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online platforms from liability for user content.
Zoom’s customer base has increased six-fold since the COVID-19 pandemic forced more people to work from home.
The company had 497,000 customers with more than 10 employees in April 2021, up from 81,900 in January 2020. It has said user growth could slow or decline as more people get vaccinated and return to work or school in person.
The case is In re: Zoom Video Communications Inc Privacy Litigation, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 20-02155. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Edited by Andrea Ricci)