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Popular Online Meeting Platform Forced to Pay $85 Million in Settlement After Being Accused of Violating User Privacy

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Video conferencing software company Zoom settled a class-action lawsuit for $85 million Saturday over claims it violated user privacy and misrepresented its security practices.

The lawsuit, filed in March 2020 by Zoom subscribers, alleged the company violated privacy rights by sharing user data with third parties such as Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.

The plaintiffs also alleged Zoom misstated its security procedures and failed to prevent instances of “Zoombombing,” in which an uninvited third party joins a private Zoom call.

Zoom, denying wrongdoing, agreed in a preliminary settlement Saturday to pay out $85 million to users as well as improve its data security and privacy practices, Reuters reported.

“The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us,” a Zoom representative told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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“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 representative said.

The settlement requires approval by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California to be finalized.

If approved, the settlement would pay users the higher of $25 or a 15 percent refund on subscriptions, Reuters reported.

Koh had previously dismissed certain portions of the lawsuit that argued Zoom invaded plaintiffs’ user privacy, ruling they “inadequately alleged” the tech company had shared their own user data through Facebook and LinkedIn.

Does Zoom need better security measures?

At the same time, she did rule plaintiffs adequately alleged Zoom’s privacy practices to be a “violation of implied contract.”

Plaintiffs had also argued that Zoom misrepresented its security capabilities by describing its encryption protocol, or the way in which it securely converts data, as “end-to-end encryption.”

This means Zoom would not be able to access video and audio content of Zoom meetings.

Zoom’s actual encryption protocol is known as “transport encryption,” which does enable the company to access that data, according to the complaint.

Zoom holds roughly 60 percent of the virtual meeting platform market share in the U.S.

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Its stock price skyrocketed during the pandemic as it became one of the preferred methods for remote communication.

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A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.

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Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.




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