Zoom Sued for Allegedly Illegally Sharing Personal Data

by Arthur F. Beaugeard

Forbes magazine, as well as Ad Adage, have reported that Zoom, a previously beloved household name, is being sued by one of its users for illegally sharing their data to third parties on March 31st.

So far in 2020, Zoom has gained an additional 2 million users, a figure higher than the number of users the popular video-conferencing platform gained during all of 2019. With many schools and businesses being moved online during these turbulent times, the software has exploded in popularity. 

Unfortunately, Zoom has rightly come under fire for sharing users’ data with outsiders such as Facebook which has caused their disreputable actions to be investigated by the U.S. Attorney-general. Zoom’s murky privacy policy mentioned nothing of this sort and Sacramento Zoom user Robert Cullen intends to sue the company on behalf of all the Zoom users whose rights have been violated. He claims that the corporation’s actions have also violated California’s Consumer Privacy Act.

Another issue which has arisen is Zoom’s claim in their privacy policy that the calls are end-to-end encrypted, as in the data cannot be accessed by anyone, even Zoom itself. Zoom is actually able to access all the data in Zoom calls anytime they please, and they were only able to make the false claim because they made up their own definition of what end-to-end encryption means in the privacy policy. 

Is Zoom another company who is unfairly profiting off of people’s desperation, like groups that hoard and price gouge masks and hand sanitizer? Is there really any other pragmatic option for millions of people to turn to? And will the lawsuit make any difference?

Works Cited:

O’Flaherty, Kate. “Are Zoom Chats Private? Here’s Why You Should Think Before Opening The App.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 31 Mar. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/kateoflahertyuk/2020/03/31/are-your-zoom-chats-private-heres-why-you-should-think-before-opening-the-app/#657b52019791.
“Zoom Sued for Allegedly Illegally Disclosing Personal Data.” Ad Age, 31 Mar. 2020, adage.com/article/digital/zoom-sued-allegedly-illegally-disclosing-personal-data/2247166.