Judge Approves Zoom’s Agreement to Pay $85 Million in Class-Action Suit

The suit relates to instances of Zoombombing

Zoom logo
Zoom logo on a smartphone.
Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there’s been a rapid uptick in the number of organizations using Zoom for online events. This is eminently understandable. Unfortunately, that also led to the rise of Zoombombing — instances where people would crash an online event and take the opportunity to engage in racist, sexist or otherwise hateful or noxious behavior.

A combination of increased awareness of the practice and heightened security measures led to Zoombombing becoming less frequent — though there are still, sadly, high-profile examples of it. But we may well see even more measures taken to prevent the practice in the wake of an $85 million class-action lawsuit.

As The Guardian reports, the settlement includes both cash payments and a pledge to, in the words of one of Zoom’s attorneys, “implement privacy practices that, going forward, will help ensure that users are safe and protected.” A federal judge has just signed off on Zoom’s agreement, paving the way for the changes in the settlement to move forward.

The Guardian has an overview of what the privacy changes will entail. They include implementing a feature to suspend meetings, a ticket-tracking system for disruptions and an easier way for administrators to contact law enforcement in instances where Zoombombing includes participants being forced to watch something illegal.

It’s a big step towards making online events safer to attend, and restoring confidence in a service that’s become ubiquitous since the pandemic began.

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