Zoom sued for allegedly illegally disclosing personal data

Zoom’s shares have more than doubled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP pic)

SAN FRANCISCO: Zoom Video Communications Inc was sued by a user who claims the popular video-conferencing service is illegally disclosing personal information.

The company collects information when users install or open the Zoom application and shares it, without proper notice, to third parties including Facebook Inc, according to the lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in San Jose, California.

Zoom’s shares have more than doubled this year as investors bet that the teleconferencing company would be one of the rare winners from the coronavirus pandemic.

The surge in its use comes as more and more people work from home or use the video-conferencing software to keep in touch rather than meet in person.

According to the suit, Zoom’s privacy policy doesn’t explain to users that its app contains code that discloses information to Facebook and potentially other third parties.

The company’s “wholly inadequate program design and security measures have resulted, and will continue to result, in unauthorised disclosure of its users’ personal information”, according to the complaint.

Robert Cullen of Sacramento is seeking to represent other users and asked for a declaration that Zoom violated California’s Consumer Privacy Act. He’s seeking damages under the act and punitive damages.

Zoom didn’t immediately respond to an email after regular business hours seeking comment.

The suit follows a report from the publication Motherboard, which first revealed that Zoom’s IOS app was sharing data with Facebook.

After the report, Zoom told the publication it removed the code that sent the data to Facebook, Motherboard said.

The case is Cullen v Zoom Video Communications, No 20-cv-02155, US District Court for the Northern District of California (San Jose).