Pandemic-sensation teleconferencing app Zoom will be paying USD$85 million (~RM359 million) as settlement over a lawsuit claiming that the San Jose-based company had breached user privacy. These includes sharing data without consent to tech companies like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn, as well as allowing hackers to hijack meetings of other users through an act called “zoombombing.”
Aside from the $85 million, the preliminary settlement also requires Zoom to increase security measures, such as alerting users when meetings are using third-party apps, and to provide specialised training to employees on privacy and data handling. San Jose District Judge Lucy Koh said the company was largely protected against Zoombombing claims thanks to the Communications Decency Act’s Section 230, which safeguards companies against liability for user content.
Through the lawsuit, subscribers to the teleconferencing platform will be eligible for 15% refunds on their core subscriptions or a minimum of USD$25 (~RM105), whichever is larger, and others could claim up to USD$15 (~RM63). Zoom also denied any wrongdoing and said in a statement that the company prioritises user privacy and security.
This isn’t the first time the company has gotten into trouble over privacy concerns. Back in November of last year, the video meeting company reached a settlement with the US’ Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over misleading users of its encryption. Despite claiming that its video calls were end-to-end encrypted (E2EE), it turned out that wasn’t the case, and the company only provided true E2EE later in the year.