Zoom agrees to pay $85m over its lack of security, Zoombombing scandal

Zoom on Mac
Zoom on Mac (Image credit: Zoom)

What you need to know

  • Video conferencing company Zoom has agreed to pay $85 million to settle a privacy lawsuit.
  • Zoom will bolster its security after the suit claimed it violated people's privacy by sharing data and failing to prevent Zoombombing.

Video conferencing company Zoom has agreed to pay $85 million to settle a privacy lawsuit relating to its lax security practices and the way it shared data with companies like Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn.

According to a Reuters report, the lawsuit settlement was filed over the weekend and still requires approval by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.

As part of the agreement, Zoom promises to work on improving its security measures — including alerting hosts when a person in a meeting uses a third-party app. Employees will also be given training on privacy and data handling, the company says.

As Zoom grew during last year's pandemic situation, users found that it was often trivially easy to get into meetings that they shouldn't be part of. That led to Zoombombing becoming a thing — the process where people join meetings anonymously and share inappropriate content. Zoom came in for a ton of criticism over the practice and its inability to prevent it last year.

Zoom's popularity exploded at a time where people needed to work from home en masse, and it seemed to take the company by surprise. It seems to have learned a lot from its early mistakes — and losing $85 million will no doubt help it learn some more, too.

The company had 497,000 customers with more than 10 employees in April 2021, up from 81,900 in January 2020. It has said user growth could slow or decline as more people get vaccines and return to work or school in-person. read more

Are you working from home? These are the best headphones for Zoom right now — now you'll be able to hear the panic in your boss's voice when they realize they can't watch your every move anymore!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.