Zoom reaches $85 million settlement in privacy and 'Zoombombing' lawsuit

The videoconferencing company will also alert users when participants use third-party apps.

Alexandra Garrett
Alexandra Garrett Associate Editor
Alexandra is an associate editor on CNET's Performance Optimization team. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, and interned with CNET's Tech and News teams while in school. Prior to joining CNET full time, Alexandra was a breaking news fellow at Newsweek, where she covered current events and politics.
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A preliminary settlement was filed over the weekend and now awaits approval. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Zoom has agreed to pay $85 million to settle a lawsuit claiming the company violated users' privacy rights by sharing their personal information with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn without their permission, and allowing hackers to interrupt virtual meetings by "Zoombombing." A preliminary settlement was filed Saturday afternoon and now awaits approval from US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.

The settlement could give eligible customers a refund of either 15% of the cost of a subscription or $25. Also as part of the agreement, the videoconferencing company said it'll take extra measures to prevent hackers from disrupting meetings, which is known as "Zoombombing." It'll alert users when hosts or other participants use third-party apps in meetings and offer specialized training on privacy and data handling to employees.

"The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us," a Zoom spokesperson said in a statement emailed to CNET on Monday. "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."