Plaintiff Robert Cullen has filed a class action complaint against defendant Zoom Video Communications for failing to protect the personal information of its users. Zoom is an online video conferencing platform, known for its product “Zoom Meetings.”
In light of the coronavirus pandemic and “shelter in place” orders in place worldwide, Zoom has become a valuable tool to connect with people and conduct business and has thus exploded in popularity. Zoom’s stock has increased by 115 percent since the end of January.
Zoom has allegedly “failed to properly safeguard the personal information of the increasing millions of users of its software application (‘Zoom App’) and video conferencing platform. Upon installing or upon each opening of the Zoom App, Zoom collects the personal information of its users and discloses, without adequate notice or authorization, this personal information to third parties, including Facebook, Inc. (‘Facebook’), invading the privacy of millions of users.”
Zoom claims that it “utilize[s] a combination of industry-standard security technologies, procedures, and organizational measures to help protect your Personal Data from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.” However, according to the plaintiff, the Zoom App without proper disclosures uses “code that made undisclosed disclosures of users’ personal information to Facebook and possibly other third parties. A Vice article cited in the complaint reported that the “Zoom app notifies Facebook when the user opens the app, details on the user’s device such as the model, the time zone and city they are connecting from, which phone carrier they are using, and a unique advertiser identifier created by the user’s device which companies can use to target a user with advertisements.” Cullen states that had Zoom informed users of its “inadequate security measures” and that it would “permit unauthorized third-party tracking of their personal information” users, including the plaintiff and other potential class members, would not have used the app.
Zoom allegedly began sending this information to Facebook when it started to use the “Login with Facebook” feature. On March 27, Zoom claimed that it released a new version of its app, which no longer sends unauthorized information to Facebook. However, Cullen states that Zoom has not taken any measures to prevent the other versions of the app from working, which means that the information from the older versions of the app would still be sent to Facebook and other third-party apps; Zoom did not force all users to update the app.
Cullen claims Zoom has been negligent and it has violated California’s Unfair Competition Law, Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and Consumer Privacy Act for failing to properly safeguard user information and for the unauthorized disclosure of user information to Facebook and other third-parties without properly informing and notifying users. They have sought class action certification, declaratory relief, damages, equitable relief and other relief as determined by the court.
Cullen is represented by Wexler Wallace. The class action complaint was filed in the California Northern District Court.