Zoom Will Pay Out $85 Million to Users in a Class Action Lawsuit Settlement
The payout will go to both paying customers and users with free accounts.
Prior to the pandemic, most people didn't know what Zoom was. Now, it's how adults go to work, kids go to school, and friends and family gather without actually gathering. Zoom has not been without its pitfalls, though. Namely, data leaks and "Zoombombings," where users crashed virtual meetings. As a result of those issues, Zoom announced that it's paying out an $85 million class action lawsuit settlement.
Zoom has denied any wrongdoing but did agree to compensate both paying customers and users with free accounts, according to a report from Yahoo! Finance. The company has also agreed to adopt new user privacy measures to prevent leaks or "Zoombombings" in the future. The settlement is pending a judge's approval. Mark Molumphy, lawyer for the plaintiffs, told Yahoo! he's confident an agreement will be reached.
"We believe it's a great result, frankly a groundbreaking result," Molumphy said.
The plaintiffs Molumphy represents accused Zoom of violating California laws by sharing users' information with third-party sites, including Facebook and Google. They also say Zoom failed to prevent "Zoombombings" and claimed it provided end-to-end encryption when it didn't really.
In addition to paying money to users in the qualifying class, Zoom has agreed to make changes "designed to improve meeting security, bolster privacy disclosures, and safeguard consumer data," according to documents obtained by USA Today.
Those who qualify for payouts from this lawsuit include people in the United States who signed up for, opened, or downloaded the Zoom app between March 30, 2016 and July 30, 2021. There are some exceptions. Those who asked to be left out of the class and those who used only government accounts or enterprise-level accounts do not qualify. Officers and directors for Zoom, the judge overseeing the case, and anyone related to her are also excluded.
Zoom users who belong to the class affected by the lawsuit will receive an email letting them know that they qualify to receive money somewhere between seven to 30 days after preliminary approval is received. Information will also be posted on various social media sites as well.
It's unclear exactly how much money each user will get. It depends largely on how many class members apply for the payout. Eligible non-paying Zoom users will get at least $15 as a base-level payment. Those who paid for Zoom will get 15% of the money they paid for Zoom during the class period at base-level. Molumphy told Yahoo! he expects between 5 million and 6 million paid subscribers to apply along with about 160 million to 170 million registered users. In other words, don't expect to get rich off this payout.
You can apply through this website, www.ZoomMeetingsClassAction.com. The site is expected to go live roughly one week after the judge approves the deal. A hearing regarding approval has been set for October 21.