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Zoom Reaches $ 85 Million Settlement on Person Privateness, "Zoomombing"

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: This illustration image dated March 15, 2021 shows small toy figures in front of the Zoom logo. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

From Jonathan stamp

(Reuters) – Zoom Video Communications Inc has agreed to pay $ 85 million and strengthen its security practices to resolve a lawsuit alleging that users' privacy rights have been violated by transferring personal information to Facebook ( NASDAQ :), Google (NASDAQ :), and LinkedIn were passed on to hackers disrupting zoom meetings in a practice called zoom bombing.

A preliminary settlement filed on Saturday afternoon requires approval from U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.

Subscribers to the proposed class action lawsuit are eligible for a 15% refund on their core subscriptions or $ 25, whichever is greater, while others could receive up to $ 15.

Zoom agreed to security measures, including notifying users when meeting hosts or other attendees use third-party apps in meetings, and providing specific training for employees on data protection and data handling.

The San Jose-based company denied misconduct in agreeing to a settlement.

In a statement on Sunday, Zoom said, "The privacy and security of our users is a top priority for Zoom and we take our users' trust in us seriously."

The settlement came on Saturday after Koh allowed plaintiffs to pursue some contractual claims on March 11.

Although Zoom has raised approximately $ 1.3 billion in Zoom Meetings subscriptions from class members, plaintiffs' attorneys found the $ 85 million settlement reasonable given the risk of litigation. They intend to seek up to $ 21.25 million for legal fees.

When zooming in, outsiders hijack Zoom meetings and show pornography, use racist language or post other disturbing content.

Koh said Zoom is "mostly" immune to zoom bombing under Section 230 of the Federal Communications Decency Act, which protects online platforms from liability for user content.

Zoom's customer base has grown six-fold since the COVID-19 pandemic forced more people to work from home.

The company had 497,000 customers with 10+ employees as of April 2021, up from 81,900 in January 2020. User growth could slow or decline as more people get vaccines and return to work or school in person.

The case is in re: Zoom video communication (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc Privacy Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 20-02155.

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