Zoom reaches $85 million settlement of lawsuit over user privacy, ‘Zoombombing’ By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in entrance of Zoom brand on this illustration image taken March 15, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Picture

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:) Inc agreed to pay $85 million and bolster its safety practices to settle a lawsuit claiming it violated customers’ privateness rights by sharing private knowledge with Fb (NASDAQ:), Google (NASDAQ:) and LinkedIn, and letting hackers disrupt Zoom conferences in a observe known as Zoombombing.

A preliminary settlement filed on Saturday afternoon requires approval by U.S. District Decide Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.

Subscribers within the proposed class motion could be eligible for 15% refunds on their core subscriptions or $25, whichever is bigger, whereas others may obtain as much as $15.

Zoom agreed to safety measures together with alerting customers when assembly hosts or different contributors use third-party apps in conferences, and to offer specialised coaching to staff on privateness and knowledge dealing with.

The San Jose-based firm denied wrongdoing in agreeing to settle. It didn’t instantly reply on Sunday to a request for remark.

Saturday’s settlement got here after Koh on March 11 let the plaintiffs pursue some contract-based claims.

Although Zoom collected about $1.3 billion in Zoom Conferences subscriptions from class members, the plaintiffs’ legal professionals known as the $85 million settlement cheap given the litigation dangers. They intend to hunt as much as $21.25 million for authorized charges.

Zoombombing is the place outsiders hijack Zoom conferences and show pornography, use racist language or submit different disturbing content material.

Koh mentioned Zoom was “principally” immune for Zoombombing underneath Part 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which shields on-line platforms from legal responsibility over person content material.

Zoom’s buyer base has grown sixfold because the COVID-19 pandemic pressured extra individuals to work at home.

The corporate had 497,000 clients with greater than 10 staff in April 2021, up from 81,900 in January 2020. It has mentioned person progress may gradual or decline as extra individuals get vaccines and return to work or college in-person.

The case is In re: Zoom Video Communications Inc Privateness Litigation, U.S. District Court docket, Northern District of California, No. 20-02155.

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