While online collaboration and communication platforms have boomed in the past year or so due to the ongoing pandemic, Zoom has been facing an uphill battle In April 2020, a vulnerability in the software allowed attackers to steal Windows credentials, and many companies such as SpaceX, Google, and Standard Chartered banned its use. Although Zoom did fix the issues eventually, the damage had already been done and the company was sued by multiple entities. Now, it has reached a settlement in one such class-action lawsuit in the U.S.
The BBC reports that the lawsuit in question claimed that Zoom did not safeguard the privacy of its users and shared their data with firms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It also took shots at the software's security features, saying that zoombombing was a serious issue and end-to-end encryption doesn't work either. It was filed on behalf of all paid and free subscribers in the U.S.
While Zoom did not admit to wrongdoing in any of the aforementioned accusations, it still reached a settlement worth $86 million with the plaintiffs. It also agreed to enhance its security features and to provide its staff trainings on best practices when handling sensitive data. Yet another provision is that the subscribers included in the class action should be offered 15% refunds on their subscriptions or $25, whichever is greater. A Zoom representative stated that:
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.
It is important to note that the settlement has not been approved yet by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh yet. The lawyers from the plaintiffs' side have also stated that they plan to seek a further $21.3 million from Zoom in lieu of legal fees.