Zoom has agreed to settle a lawsuit over “Zoombombing”, The New York Times reported. More specifically, Zoom Video Communications has agreed to pay $85 million and improve its security practices to settle a lawsuit claiming it violated the privacy of its users.
As you may recall, Zoom became exceeding popular when businesses turned to “work from home” and schools shifted to remote learning. Unfortunately, hackers decided to engage in “Zoombombing” by accessing Zoom conferences they were not allowed to enter. The hackers posted things that were inappropriate for the group who was in the Zoom call.
According to The New York Times, 14 class-action complaints were filed against Zoom Video Communications in the spring of 2020 over “Zoombombing”. Reuters reported that the subscribers in the proposed class action lawsuit would be eligible for 15% refunds on their core subscriptions or $25 whichever is larger, while others could receive up to $15. Engadget reported that lawyers intended to collect up to $21.25 million in legal costs.
In March of this year, Reuters reported that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, dismissed several claims in the proposed class action including invasion of privacy, negligence, and violations of California’s consumer and anti-hacking laws. She allowed some contract-based claims to proceed.
Engadget reported that Judge Lucy Koh said Zoom Video Communications was largely protected against “Zoombombing” claims due to the Communications Decency Act’s Section 230. It is the part that safeguards platforms against liability for users’ actions.
It sounds to me like the lawyers might be the only ones to make money from this lawsuit. The people who are part of the class-action lawsuits are, at best, going to get a small amount of money. Zoom Video Communications, however, appears to have been allowed to avoid facing consequences other than having to throw money at the problem.