Zoom ends privacy class action with multi-million dollar settlement

By Melissa Coade

August 3, 2021

It was claimed video conferencing company Zoom shared the personal data of millions of users with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn. (Kateryna/Adobe)

Video conferencing company Zoom has settled a class action for $US85 million amid claims that the privacy of millions of users was breached when the company shared their personal data with platforms including Facebook, Google and LinkedIn. 

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of paid subscribers to the Zoom Meetings product. Once approved by a US District Judge, members of class action can receive 15% of their subscription costs to Zoom for the time of the alleged privacy breach, or $US25 (whichever is greater).

Members of the class action who were free subscribers can make a claim for $US15.

As the COVID-19 pandemic sent a huge cohort of office workers out of the workplace and into their homes, video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and WebEx became working from home (WFH) staples.

Zoom in particular enjoyed rapid growth during the height of the WFH transition but concerns about security and privacy issues on the platform had pushed some local government agencies to consider other, more secure alternatives.

A spokesperson for the videoconferencing company told the ABC that users’ privacy and security was at the ‘forefront’ and that Zoom would continue to innovate by prioritising privacy and security protections.

“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 said. 

According to the preliminary settlement for the class action, a “non-reversionary cash fund of $85 million to pay valid claims, notice and administration costs, Service Payments to Class Representatives, and any attorneys’ fees and costs awarded by the Court,” will be established.

Zoom denies any wrongdoing in the settlement process but has agreed that it will improve its security practices.

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