SF church sues Zoom for failing to prevent 'Zoombombing' of bible study class

A San Francisco church sued Zoom Video Communications Inc. in federal court in San Jose on Wednesday over a so-called "Zoombombing" incident in which an online invader disrupted a video Bible study class with pornographic images.

The lawsuit was filed by Saint Paulus Lutheran Church and administrator Heddi Cundle, who organized the class held on May 6 via Zoom for eight students, most of whom were senior citizens.

During the online class, a hacker hijacked the students' computer screens, disabled their control buttons and played "sick and sickening" pornographic videos, according to the lawsuit. When the students tried to terminate the session and restart the class, the hacker attacked again, and the group had to end the class, the lawsuit says.

The civil lawsuit lodges claims of negligence, breach of implied contract, unjust enrichment and unfair business practices against San Jose-based Zoom for its alleged failure to provide adequate security.

The lawsuit also claims Zoom violated privacy laws and other statutes by allegedly disclosing users' personal information to third parties, including Facebook.

A spokesperson said Zoom was upset about this incident and condemned this behavior. "On the same day we learned of this incident, we identified the offender, took action to block their access to the platform and reported them to relevant authorities. We encourage users to report any incidents of this kind either to Zoom so we can take appropriate action or directly to law enforcement authorities," the company said. 

Zoom encourages users to take advantage of improved security features and to not widely share meeting IDs and passwords online.

The suit seeks to be certified as a class action on behalf of all Zoom users in the United States. It asks for an injunction against Zoom and for financial compensation, including a punitive damages award.