Zoom Argues Class Action Claims Do Not Allege “Personal Harm”

On Wednesday, 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.

Additionally, Zoom argued that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act bars all of the plaintiffs’ claims to the extent that they are predicated on unwanted meeting disruptions, as it is an “interactive computer service” and is shielded from liability.

On the invasion of privacy claims. Zoom asserted that the plaintiffs failed to “allege an actionable intrusion into any material over which they have a legally protected privacy interest.” According to Zoom, the plaintiffs did not allege that their own data or legally protected data was disclosed. The company added that the plaintiff did not claim that Zoom’s alleged device data disclosure “constituted an egregious breach of social norms.”

Zoom asserted that the plaintiffs’ negligence claims should be dismissed as well; they argued the economic loss rule prevents the claims to the extent that they have sought financial injury recovery. Additionally, Zoom argued that the plaintiffs failed to plead the elements of negligence. 

Turning to the fraud-based allegations, Zoom argued that the plaintiffs did not detail specific misleading statements and likewise failed to show actual reliance. The company similarly argued that claims cannot be brought against the California Unfair Competition Law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act because most plaintiffs used Zoom for free, and the remaining plaintiffs did not provide required notice of their claims.

Zoom seeks for the court to dismiss the FAC in its entirety with prejudice. Zoom is represented by Cooley LLP. The hearing for the motion is set for Feb. 2, 2021, before Judge Lucy H. Koh.