Last year, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Zoom for falsely claiming to offer complete end-to-end encryption for Zoom calls. Since at least 2016, the conference platform has assured users that their online communications are protected by 256-bit end-to-end encryption, ensuring maximum privacy and protection against cyberattacks.
However, the only time users got this promised privacy feature was when they used the paid Zoom Room connector platform, which allows them to host the meeting on their own servers rather than Zoom’s own internationally based servers.
Zoom has also lied about encrypting recorded meetings before storing them in the cloud, a claim that was found to be false in the lawsuit. “Instead,” according to an FTC report, “some recordings allegedly were stored unencrypted for up to 60 days on Zoom’s servers before being transferred to its secure cloud storage.”
Zoom could owe you $15 or $25 soon
Last Saturday, the court case took a step forward when Zoom proposed a settlement in which it would pay $85 million to all affected users across the US. This would give Zoom users either $15 or $25 in compensation.
All Americans who have used Zoom since its inception will receive the $15 compensation, while those who have used any of the paid Zoom account versions will receive either a 15% refund or a $25 credit, whichever is greater. However, because the lawsuit was filed in the United States, only US citizens will be compensated.
The rest of the world’s data may have been compromised and illegally sold to third parties as well, but things will remain the same unless another class-action lawsuit is filed in the EU or elsewhere.
The proposed settlement includes security improvements as well as future honesty
Zoom also promises to”improve meeting security, bolster privacy disclosures, and safeguard consumer data.” in addition to the monetary compensation. This includes addressing previous security flaws that allowed “Zoombombings” to transpire on rare occasions, in which a conference call was breached and disrupted by internet trolls who had illegally gained access to the meeting.
If the settlement is accepted and approved by the court, it will bring an end to the lengthy court proceedings and, hopefully, the beginning of better transparency and improved security from the conference platform, which much of the world has grown accustomed to using since the pandemic forced us to work and study from home for a long time.
Zoom has been so successful, owing largely to the pandemic, that it only reported 956.2 million in revenue for the first quarter (February-April) of this year. The net income was $227.5 million, so the $85 million will definitely sting a little, hopefully just enough to keep the company from making similar mistakes in the future.
“The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us,” a spokesperson said in an interview. “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,” the spokesperson added.
The court date for the plaintiffs’ motion for approval or rejection of the proposal has already been set for October 21, which is about two months away.