Zoom to Pay $85 Million in Privacy Lawsuit
Zoom is set to pay $85 million to settle the class-action lawsuit that alleged Zoom lied about offering end-to-end encryption. The settlement still has yet to be approved, but once it is, you may be eligible to receive a small payout.
Zoom Pays Up for Privacy Issues
Zoom’s proposed agreement is currently under review by US District Judge Lucy Koh. The now-ubiquitous video conferencing platform became the center of controversy after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) discovered that Zoom may be deceiving users about their security.
In 2016 and 2017, Zoom advertised that it had end-to-end encryption, when in fact, it did not. The platform only began to support end-to-end encryption in October of 2020.
Zoom came to an agreement with the FTC in November 2020, and promised to improve its security protections. The controversy triggered a class-action lawsuit, which alleges that Zoom gave users a false sense of security.
The suit even addresses “Zoombombing,” otherwise known as the act of crashing into a random and unsecured Zoom meeting. That’s still not the end of the lawsuit’s grievances, however it also alleges that Zoom gave users’ private information to third parties, like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
A Zoom spokesperson commented on the settlement in a statement to NPR, but didn’t really acknowledge its security issues: “The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us. 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.”
Zoom Is Compensating Its Users, Too
Whether you’re a free or paid user of Zoom, you might see a small amount of cash coming your way.
Members that paid for the platform between March 30, 2016 and July 30, 2021, “will be eligible to receive the 15 percent of the money they paid to Zoom for their core Zoom Meetings subscription during that time or $25, whichever is greater.”
If 15 percent of your Zoom subscription is worth more than $25, you may receive around $34, but this also depends on how many people file a claim. The more people that file a claim, the less money there is to go around. And if you used the platform for free, you still won’t be left out—you may receive anywhere between $11 to $12.
Will the Lawsuit Change Anything?
As a part of the settlement, Zoom has agreed to make a series of changes that will effectively reverse all of the complaints that the lawsuit brought up. If Zoom complies, it should, in theory, become a much more secure platform.