Zoom to pay $86m in privacy lawsuit

Zoom has agreed to pay $86 million and improve its security practices as part of a settlement for a US privacy lawsuit.

The case alleged that the video conferencing giant violated users' right to privacy by sharing personal data with Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, and by letting unwanted participants disrupt Zoom meetings in a practice called “Zoombombing.”

The settlement will see Zoom pay up to $25 to some eligible paid subscribers and up to $15 to individuals who aren’t eligible to make a paid subscription claim.

Zoom will now alert users when hosts or participants use third-party apps during meetings and will provide training for employees on privacy and data handling.

The settlement still requires approval by US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California and Zoom has denied any wrongdoing in the case.

The plaintiffs' lawyers intend to extract a further $21.3 million in legal fees from Zoom.

Social distancing and increased reliance on video conferencing over the course of pandemic helped Zoom’s shares to triple year-on-year and hit a $90 billion market cap after originally listing in 2019.

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