Zoom has agreed to pay $85 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the video conferencing giant of violating users’ privacy by sharing their data with third parties without permission and enabling “Zoombombing” incidents.
Zoombombing, a term coined by News last year as its usage exploded because of the pandemic, describes unapproved attendees entering and disrupting Zoom calls by sharing offensive imagery, using backgrounds to spread hateful messages, or spouting slurs and profanities.
The lawsuit, filed in March 2020 in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, also accused the firm of sharing personal user data with third parties, including Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.
In addition to agreeing to an $85 million settlement, which could see customers receive a refund of either 15% of their subscription of $25 if the lawsuit achieves class-action status, Zoom has said it will take additional steps to prevent intruders from gatecrashing meetings. This will include alerting users when meeting hosts or other participants use third-party apps in meetings and offering specialized training to employees on privacy and data handling.
“The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us,” Zoom said in a statement. “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 settlement requires approval from US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, to be finalized.