WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Zoom has agreed to compensate users in an $85 million settlement following a privacy class action.
- After a court approval in October, eligible individuals can apply for payment.
- The video conference company is being sued for privacy and security issues.
Zoom (ZM) has committed to a $85 million settlement after a lawsuit alleged that it illegally breached user privacy and security protocols.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance, a lawyer said that Zoom’s announcement in response to a privacy class action was a “groundbreaking” and an unusual settlement.
“We believe it’s a great result, frankly a groundbreaking result,” plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Molumphy of the Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy law firm told Yahoo Finance on Monday.
The judge is set to thoroughly review the components of the suit as Molumphy is confident that the settlement would attain preliminary approval.
Another legal counsel for the plaintiffs in the case, Tina Wolfson, told Yahoo Finance that “data is the new oil.”
“There’s a bargain there, even though you’re not paying for the service — which is, you’re providing data, unbeknownst to you, to Zoom and third party apps. And, as we know, that’s very, very valuable to those companies,” she explained as to why customers who used free accounts are still included in the settlement.
Accordingly, people who can apply for a payment are among those residing in the US and have registered, used, and downloaded the video app between March 30, 2016 and July 30, 2021.
Meanwhile, the class does not include people who used government accounts and enterprise level accounts. Other exclusions include Zoom officers and directors as well as the judge holding the case and her relatives.
Eligible users can apply for payment through the website www.ZoomMeetingsClassAction.com. Per Molumphy, the site will become active a week following the judge’s preliminary approval which is set on October 21.
According to Molumphy, the class size is approximately around five to six million paid users. In totality, Zoom has over 170 million users worldwide.
Eligible non-paying Zoom users could receive at least $15, while those subscribed users could gain at least 15 percent of the payment they provided to the company during the given period.
Wolfson noted that it would be hard to determine the quantity of class members who will apply for the payment, which would also impact the cost of how each person could receive.
Amid denying any violation, Zoom initiated the settlement which is currently awaiting a court ruling. The video conference company has agreed to compensate its users and update its user privacy measures following the ‘Zoom-bombings’ events, where uninvited individuals trespassed Zoom meetings, and other concerns related to privacy and security.
“Our lawsuit was about [Zoom-bombing], and much more,” Wolfson said, adding that the Zoom’s adoption of new privacy policies was an integral part of the deal.