Zoom users may get refunds thanks to Zoombombing lawsuit

Zoom agrees to pay $85m in Zoombombing/data privacy lawsuit, part of which would refund its users.


August 4, 2021

Sometimes, rapid growth has consequences. Take Zoom, which recently agreed to pay $85m to settle a lawsuit alleging it violated its users’ privacy, per NPR.

In March 2020, lockdowns turned Zoom into our classroom, office, and social space. The platform skyrocketed from 10m daily users to 200m+.

But CEO Eric Yuan admitted Zoom wasn’t quite ready for all that attention, writing, “We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s — and our own — privacy and security expectations.”

Between March and May 2020, 14 claims were filed against Zoom and later consolidated into one class-action lawsuit.

The complaint accused Zoom of:

  • Misrepresenting its users’ security and privacy, allowing hackers to Zoombomb meetings
  • Sharing data with 3rd parties like Facebook and Google

What’s Zoombombing again?

Zoombombing is when some rando shows up to a Zoom meeting uninvited. It’s a silly prank when Conan O’Brien Zoombombs a Silicon Valley tech company.

But some bombers shared hate speech or dropped X-rated material into classrooms of underage students, prompting the FBI to issue a warning.

If the settlement is approved by a federal judge…

… Zoom subscribers may receive a 15% refund or $25, whichever is more. Nonsubscribers may apply for a $15 refund. The next hearing is in October.

Zoom has also agreed to take actions to increase security, though Gizmodo wasn’t impressed, noting some require the user to know a lot about data privacy or are a moot point on Apple’s OS.

Still, $25 will get you not 1 but 2 Hustle pint glasses.

Cheers!

Update, August 4:

A Zoom spokesperson has provided the following 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.”

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