Video conferencing heavyweight, Zoom has to pay a settlement fee of $85 million to make a user privacy violation lawsuit go away. The company was accused of leaking user data to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google, and failing to prevent “Zoombombing,” (a term used to describe people intruding on private meetings).
“The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom. And we take seriously the trust our users place in us. We are proud of the advancements we have made to our platform. And we look forward to continuing to innovate with privacy and security at the forefront,” Zoom has said.
Zoom: Build-up to the Privacy Lawsuit
In 2020, Zoom shot to fame when the pandemic made remote work a norm. In less than 6 months, the video conferencing app had recorded a 21% jump in the number of active users; making Zoom one of the fastest-growing apps. In fact, the company saw sales skyrocket an unprecedented 326% to $2.6 billion in 2020 alone.
However, in March that same year, Zoom was sued for user data privacy violation. But the company strongly resisted the accusations. To this day, it denies them but views a settlement fee as expedient for all parties.
Tech Giants and User Privacy Violations
In 2019, Google was fined $57 million by a French data protection agency over GDPR violations. Similarly, Facebook was fined a record $5 billion that same year for data breaches. Stats show that 45% of US citizens have been victims of user privacy violations in the past five years. So, that’s how serious privacy violation has become.
In truth, the $85 million settlement fee will not shake up Zoom’s financial coffers. But perhaps, it’ll serve as a warning, and a means to create awareness.