Video-conferencing platform Zoom has now agreed to pay $85 million to settle a class-action privacy lawsuit in the US over a problem with its security features.
The lawsuit was filed in March 2020 in the US District Court in the Northern District of California and is just one of several legal complaints facing the company.
According to the lawyers on the case, Zoom violated the privacy of its users by sharing personal data with social networking sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google.
It’s also accusing Zoom of allowing hackers to disrupt virtual meetings in “Zoombombing” sessions, despite claiming to offer end-to-end encryption for users.
The settlement money will be used to refund Zoom users who used the service between March 30, 2016, and the date of the settlement.
Paid users will also be eligible for a 15% refund on their subscription costs or $25, whichever is larger. Those using the free version may be able to get a refund of up to $15.
How Zoom plans to boost security
Zoom denied the allegations, but the company has agreed to boost its security and provide its staff with additional training in privacy and data handling.
As well as paying the fine, Zoom says it will introduce a number of measures that are “designed to improve meeting security, bolster privacy disclosures, and safeguard consumer data.”
The company said in a statement, “The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us.”
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.”
Zoom said it will be launching an update known as Zoom 5.0, which includes several improvements including allowing meeting hosts to report potential misuses of the service.
Zoom 5.0 will also have enhanced encryption capabilities which will provide “more protection for meeting data and greater resistance to tampering,” the company said.