Zoom agrees to pay $86m to settle lawsuit claiming privacy rights violation

Video teleconferencing program Zoom will pay $86m USD (117.1 AUD) to settle a US class action privacy lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleged that Zoom had violated privacy rights by sharing its users’ personal data with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.

It also alleged that Zoom misrepresented its ability to prevent “zoombombing”.

Image: CNN

The settlement is awaiting approval by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.

If she approves, subscribers involved in the class-action lawsuit will receive a 15 per cent refund on their subscription to Zoom, or $25, whichever is larger.

Users of the lawsuit who had a free subscription will be able to submit a claim for $15.

According to the plaintiff’s claims, US subscribers contributed $1.3bn USD (1.7bn AUD) to the video conferencing firm.

Zoom has also promised to ramp up its security measures. The company has asserted they will take greater steps to safeguard users’ data, and alert users to data sharing.

The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us“, a zoom spokesperson stated.

We are proud of the advancements we have made to our platform, and look forward to continuing to innovate with privacy and security at the forefront.”

The plaintiffs intend to claim a further USD 21.3m (29m AUD) from zoom to cover legal fees.

The lawsuit was filed in March 2020.

That month, Zoom requested the court dismiss the case. Judge Koh, however, agreed only to dismiss claims of negligence, allowing the claims of breach of implied contract to go ahead.

It may be surprising for some that Zoom first launched in 2012. But in its nearly 10-year run, the program saw its largest growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December 2019, Zoom had around 10 million daily meeting participants.

As of March 2021, the program has over 300 million, seeing a growth of 2900 per cent in less than two years.