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Lawsuit charges Zoom with sharing personal information with Facebook


A putative class action lawsuit charging Zoom Video Communications Inc. with sharing personal information with Facebook Inc. has been filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California.

The lawsuit filed against the San Jose-based video conferencing company, whose popularity has soared while people are confined to their homes, states that while Zoom has introduced a new version of its software that presumably addresses the issue, older versions are still being used.

Zoom’s use has increased as a result of the “shelter in place” directives issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its stock has increased more than 115% since late January, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Robert Cullen v. Zoom Video Communications Inc.

“Zoom, however, has failed to properly safeguard the personal information of the increasing millions of users of its software application and video conferencing platform,” the lawsuit says.

“Upon installing or upon each opening of the Zoom App, Zoom collects the personal information of its users and discloses, without adequate knowledge or authorization, this personal information to third parties, including Facebook Inc., invading the privacy of millions of users.”

The lawsuit says the unauthorized information includes a “unique advertising identifier” that “allows companies to target the user with advertisements.”

It states this information is sent to Facebook regardless of whether the user has a Facebook account. “The amount of money Zoom receives from Facebook, and possibly other third parties, is unknown by Plaintiffs,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit states that Zoom released a new version of its app last week “which purports to no longer send unauthorized personal information of its users to Facebook. 

“However, even assuming this updated version works as described by Zoom, the harm to Plaintiff and the Class members has been done and continues. Zoom appears to have taken no action to block any of the prior versions of the Zoom App from working.”

The litigation charges the company with violating the California Consumer Privacy Act, negligence and unjust enrichment, among other charges.

In response to a request for comment, a Zoom spokesperson referred to a blog last Friday, in which Eric S. Yuan, the company’s founder and CEO, said the firm had reconfigured its “login with Facebook” feature when it became aware Facebook was collecting device information “unnecessary for us to provide our services.”

More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here