Zoom Tells Court to Toss Foreigners’ Data Privacy and Security Class Action

Zoom Video Communications Inc. leveled arguments at several foreign plaintiffs in a suit they filed over concerns about Zoom video conferencing software’s touted security and user privacy protections. The company’s dismissal motion urged the court to reject the allegations for several reasons, including that they improperly attempt to relitigate matters that arose in the settled In re Zoom Video Communications Inc. Privacy Litigation.

The case dates to late May when several non-Americans of residents of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom sued Zoom over allegations parallel to, or as Zoom alleges, identical to, the misconduct complained of in the class action that settled for $85 million. 

They argued that Zoom disclosed users’ personal information to unauthorized third parties, including Facebook and Google, failed to implement and maintain adequate data security measures, represented that Zoom’s video conferences were end-to-end encrypted when they were not, and failed to timely notify users that their personal information was disclosed.

The complaint said that the four plaintiffs and the class they seek to represent were expressly excluded from the other action, enabling them to now vindicate the rights of non-American residents of the aforementioned “Five Eyes” privacy agreement countries.

Zoom’s dismissal motion first argued that the court should strike allegations they say plaintiffs’ counsel copied from the settled In re Zoom Video Communications Inc. Privacy Litigation complaint. Accordingly, Zoom urges the court to dismiss the stripped complaint for failure to state a claim owing to counsel’s failure to satisfy their obligation to investigate and certify pleading allegations under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b).

“It is clear from their Complaint that neither Plaintiffs nor their counsel investigated the allegations underlying Zoom Privacy and instead merely regurgitate scattershot allegations from that litigation, admitting in the process that they copied the work of counsel in that case and that they did not purchase a Zoom subscription until after that case was filed,” the motion said.

Further, Zoom asserted a forum non conveniens defense, contending that the case should have been brought abroad. “In fact, if this case proceeds past the pleadings stage, it will present serious due process and practical concerns stemming from the need to obtain discovery in different countries and the uncertainty related to whether a judgment in this case would bind non-U.S. users or have a preclusive effect on claims in foreign jurisdictions,” Zoom said.

The motion also attacked the claims’ substance, arguing that the fraud-based assertion, invasion of privacy, implied contract, implied covenant, and California Unfair Competition claims fail to satisfy their respective elements.

The case is before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers in Oakland, Calif.

The plaintiffs and putative class are represented by Law Offices of David J. Gallo and Zoom by Cooley LLP, the same firm that represented it in the now-settled class action.