Back in March of 2020, when the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic was really setting in around the world, teleconferencing app Zoom became an indispensable tool for both businesses and individuals. Zoom became the first and foremost means for schools to hold classes, for businesses to hold meetings, and for family members to keep in contact with one another while separated by quarantine. Unfortunately, this rise in ubiquity also brought about an irritating new trend: “zoombombing,” wherein random jerks would sneak into peoples’ Zoom calls to scream profanities or post pornographic images.
The zoombombing trend roused concerns from Zoom users over the privacy and security of their calls, and coupled with more recent concerns about Zoom selling user info to the likes of Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, a class action lawsuit was filed. To settle this lawsuit, Zoom Video Communications has agreed to pay out $85 million.
In addition to the cash settlement, the company will also be taking strides to make “major changes to its practices, designed to improve meeting security, bolster privacy disclosures, and safeguard consumer data,” according to the settlement documents.
The changes in question include “in-meeting notifications to make it easier for users to understand who can see, save, and share Zoom users’ information” and “alerting users when a meeting host or another participant uses a third-party application during a meeting.”
Zoom to pay $85m to set aside privacy violation and zoombombing allegations https://t.co/VDGGFA8HVJ by @campbell_kwan
— ZDNet (@ZDNet) August 2, 2021
“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 told CNN Business. “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 spokesperson added.
Any Zoom core subscribers who were included in the lawsuit will also be eligible for partial refunds to their subscriptions for their trouble.