Zoom faces more serious repercussions due to its previous privacy and security breaches. Reuters reports that Zoom agreed to pay $ 85 million to settle a lawsuit in which the video chat giant is accused of violating privacy and using “zooms” (that is, trolls entering others’ chats). The pre-settlement also requires tighter security measures, such as alerting participants via third-party apps and offering privacy-focused tailored training for Zoom employees.
Judge Lucy Koch said the company was largely shielded from zombie allegations thanks to section 230 of the Communications Integrity Act, which protects from liability for user actions.
The settlement could also result in payouts if the lawsuit becomes a proposed class action lawsuit, but don’t expect windfall profits. Subscribers will receive a refund of 15 percent or $ 25, whichever is greater, while everyone else will receive a whopping $ 15. The lawyers intended to recover up to $ 21.25 million in legal costs.
In a statement, Zoom denied it was doing anything wrong and said that privacy and security were “top priorities.” The company previously agreed to resolve a FTC complaint about similar privacy issues, including a persistent web server installed on Mac computers.
Zoom has struggled to improve the security of its video chats after a surge in usage due to the pandemic brought attention to vulnerabilities in its software and services. In October 2020, the company began rolling out end-to-end encryption, conducted audits, and made zombie harder. However, for some users, the improvements were too late, and it’s safe to say that the agreement is a warning to companies that are only belatedly tightening the security of their applications.
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