Zoom Says Data Sharing, Zoombombing Doesn’t Cause Personal Harm

Zoom is a good name for this company. It seems to have come out of nowhere to become the new verb for web meetings, robbing that distinction from many more established competitors like WebEx and GoToMeeting, maybe because they don’t have cool web-sounding names, although people don’t seem to be saying “let’s Skype later,” as much as they used to. Sure, we still “Facetime,” but Zoom really shot to the top when it comes to name recognition. According to CNBC’s Ari Levy, Zoom reported fiscal third-quarter revenue growth of more than 300% after seeing 355% expansion in the prior period. The company’s stock was up almost seven-fold this year but “pulled back in November on positive news surrounding a coronavirus vaccine,” Levy reported. And with success comes risk, especially when dealing with private data.  Here is an excerpt of a post shared with the permission of Fastcase and Law Street Media. –Tom Hagy, HB Litigation Conferences

Dec. 4, 2020 (San Francisco) — On Wednesday [Dec. 2], in the Northern District of California, Zoom Video Communications filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ first amended consolidated class action complaint (FAC) on the grounds that the FAC failed to state a claim for which relief may be granted.

The consolidated complaint alleged that Zoom engaged in unauthorized data sharing with third parties, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google. Additional complaints included an alleged failure to prevent unwanted meeting disruptions by outside parties, called Zoombombing; and misrepresentation of its encryption protocols claiming it used end-to-end encryption when it purportedly did not provide such encryption.

Zoom stated that it faced unprecedented growth resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as people began using Zoom for teleconferences and to communicate with friends and family, but it “worked tirelessly since the pandemic’s onset to keep its services operational and secure, while developing and deploying extensive privacy and security enhancements to address new challenges caused by the massive uptick in non-corporate usage.”

In its motion to dismiss, Zoom stated “(i)n an effort to capitalize on Zoom’s explosive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, Plaintiffs seek to hold Zoom liable on behalf of a nationwide class under a scattershot array of loosely related factual and legal theories, largely drawn from sensationalist news reports.” Zoom claimed that in the latest attempt, the plaintiffs still failed to state claims upon which relief may be granted; instead, the plaintiffs’ FAC supposedly “recycles the same flawed claims as Plaintiffs’ original consolidated complaint (CAC) … with a few minor additional factual allegations.”

Zoom averred that all of the plaintiffs’ claims fail because they do not allege that they were harmed by the company. Zoom contended that the plaintiffs failed to claim personal harm from the purported data sharing, meeting disruptions, and alleged misrepresentations and omissions about encryption.

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