Zoom Video Communications, the creator of the popular video chat app Zoom in Russia, will pay tens of millions of dollars to settle a lawsuit about invading users' privacy. In addition, the company promised to make the program more secure and prevent hackers from hacking online meetings and meetings, writes the New York Times.
We are talking about 14 class actions of users from the United States, combined into one proceeding. They accused Zoom Video Communications of lying about using end-to-end encryption in the application. In addition, it is alleged that it shared user data with third-party companies, including Google, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Despite the fact that the creators of the application did not officially admit their guilt, they agreed to pay each plaintiff either 15 percent of the cost of his subscription, or $ 25 (whichever is the greater). The total amount of payments reaches $ 85 million.
“The privacy and safety of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take the trust our users place in us seriously. We are proud of the achievements of our platform and look forward to further innovation. At the same time, special attention will be paid to confidentiality and security, ”the company said in a statement.
Zoom Video Communications' decision must go through a California court approval process. According to the BBC, the plaintiffs' lawyers also intend to recover from the company more than $ 21 million to cover legal costs.
The Zoom app has become widely known since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. However, even before that, some users complained about its insufficient security. In particular, there were cases of cybercriminals interrupting online meetings and using the screen sharing function to display racist and other offensive slogans, as well as pornographic images. The New York Times cites as an example a case where white supremacists invaded an online seminar on anti-Semitism. Such attacks were called Zoombombing (Zoom-bombing) in the Western press.
One of these episodes occurred in July in Danbury (Connecticut, USA). There, a hacker disrupted a virtual City Council meeting that was being held with the help of Zoom. The cybercriminal broke into the conversation 25 minutes after the start of the meeting. First, he made “inappropriate messages” and spoke loudly, and then tried to order a cheeseburger.