Teleconferencing software company, Zoom, saw a massive increase in demand for its services as the world switched to remote working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this unprecedented success, the firm has found itself in hot water due to alleged lax security.
In a bid to mitigate the damage, Zoom has agreed to pay a settlement of $85 million dollars, following a class action lawsuit instigated last year. According to the terms of the settlement, Zoom users with a paid account will be eligible for a one-off payment of $25 or a 15% refund on account fees. For those without a paid account, a one-off payment of $15 will be available.
Why Was Zoom Sued?
Zoom faced legal action because users claimed that the company breached data regulations, which led to subsequent hacking activity. According to plaintiffs, the teleconferencing software company shared users’ data with other firms, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Google, without the appropriate permissions. However, the damage to users didn’t stop there.
Another aspect of the claim referred to the company’s allegedly poor security, which enables hackers to gain unauthorized access to video conferences and calls. In some instances, unauthorized video call participants shared explicit content and frequently disrupted confidential video meetings. Commonly referred to as, ‘zoom bombing’, users argued that the company’s approach to security made it easy for hackers to target them in this way.
For other businesses, the costly consequences that have stemmed from Zoom’s allegedly relaxed approach to security should come as a warning. If individuals or companies find themselves facing similar allegations or issues, it’s vital to seek appropriate legal advice.
By working with a personal injury attorney, for example, businesses can protect their liability and access the bespoke advice they need. Navigating a lawsuit is a tricky business but the right attorney can provide the support, assistance, and representation you need.
Who Will Get Compensation?
As the settlement has yet to be formally approved, Zoom users are unable to request a refund just yet. Before you plan on registering for payment following the settlement, however, you’ll want to check whether you’re entitled to any funds.
Under the terms of the agreed settlement, if you were using an account that was created by your employer, you won’t be able to claim a refund. Instead, it’s likely that businesses, as account creators, will be permitted to do this.
Is Zoom Safe to Use?
Although Zoom has agreed to a settlement, the company has not committed any legal violations and does not agree that users have necessarily suffered injury or damage due to either the sharing of their personal data or the incidents of ‘zoom bombing’ that have occurred.
However, the firm has overhauled its security measures to reduce the likelihood of any unauthorized users gaining access to private communications. Due to this, users should feel confident that the teleconferencing software provider is putting its users first.
As remote working becomes commonplace and an increasing number of businesses begin operating with distributed workforces, other companies will be eager to enhance their own security in a bid to avoid the same costly mistakes that Zoom is paying the price for.