Zoom settles 'zoombombing' and data privacy lawsuit for $85 million

By Alexis Benveniste, CNN Business

    (CNN) -- Zoom Video Communications agreed to pay $85 million in a preliminary lawsuit settlement filed Saturday afternoon. The deal is in response to a class action lawsuit over users' concerns over the company allegedly having shared personal data with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn as well as instances of "zoombombing," when an unwanted hacker joins a call.

The FBI issued a warning against "zoombombing" in March 2020, citing examples of users entering meetings or virtual classrooms to shout profanities and share pornography. The FBI urged victims of "teleconference hijacking" to report any incidents to the agency.

The video conferencing company has agreed to more than a dozen "major changes to its practices, designed to improve meeting security, bolster privacy disclosures, and safeguard consumer data," according to the settlement documents.

These changes are expected to 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."

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

Paid subscribers in the class action lawsuit are eligible for 15% refunds on their Zoom core subscriptions, or $25 — whichever amount is larger — and other Zoom users could be eligible for up to $15, according to the settlement.

Zoom collected approximately $1.3 billion in subscriptions from the class action participants who paid for a subscription, according to settlement documents.

The deal requires approval from US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, to be finalized.

The-CNN-Wire
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