Bible Class "Zoombombing" Leads to California Class Action Lawsuit
A California church has filed a class action lawsuit against Zoom after a recent Bible study class was “Zoombombed” with pornographic images. According to a USA Today news report, St. Paulus Lutheran Church, one of San Francisco’s oldest churches, filed a proposed class action lawsuit against the teleconferencing giant whose platform is being used by millions during the coronavirus quarantine.
The complaint states that Heddi N. Cundle, a church administrator, and attendees of the May 6 Bible study class had their “computer screens hijacked and control buttons disabled while being forced to watch pornographic video footage”. The lawsuit seeks damages for Cundle, the eight class attendees and millions of Zoom users nationwide.
Complaint Alleges Lax Security
Zoom has condemned this behavior and has vowed to tighten the platform’s security to prevent such instances of “Zoombombing” in the future. Some of the most notorious cases involve educational classes and local government meetings being disrupted with racist symbols such as swastikas and images of pornography.
As more and more people have had to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic due to social distancing measures, more have begun using Zoom to connect via video and audio chats. Zoom is not just being used for work, but also to catch up with family members and friends. The company says the new version of Zoom, which was released on April 27, makes it more difficult for meetings to be Zoombombed.
Their waiting rooms now require passwords and a host to admit an attendee. For educational users, screen sharing will default only to the host. But some of these new features were already in place when the Bible study class was Zoombombed on May 6. Cundle said in her complaint that after that class session, she reached out to Zoom and asked them to rectify the situation and improve security for video conferences, but she said Zoom took no such action.
The Need for Accountability
The number of data breaches we’ve had over the last few years has shown us the importance of cybersecurity. Most of us use Zoom from our homes. Our children use it for schoolwork. The least the company can do is to make its platform secure so it cannot be exploited by hackers. We hope these class actions will force Zoom to take the necessary security measures to protect its users. Our class action lawyers are committed to fighting for consumers’ right to privacy and better security.