This year Zoom came under fire after the company claimed to use end-to-end encryption when in reality it uses transport encryption instead and because of that, the video conferencing service is being sued by Consumer Watchdog, the US nonprofit advocacy group.
The lawsuit has been filed in the Washington DC court and it says that the company has been untruthfully telling users that it provides full encryption which breaks the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (DCCPPA) which forbids false advertising.
It was revealed in April that Zoom uses transport encryption as opposed to end-to-end encryption. Transport encryption is a Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol that secures the connection between a user and the server they are connected to. Although, the difference between transport encryption and end-to-end encryption is that while others might now be able to access your data, Zoom will still be able to.
Consumer Watchdog’s complaint claims that the company maintained to say that it used end-to-end encryption at the time, saying:
“Zoom repeated its end-to-end encryption claims throughout its website, in white papers—including in its April 2020 HIPAA Compliance Guide—and on the user interface within the app. Through these representations, Zoom established itself as a safe, secure, and reliable video conferencing platform for consumers, and targeted sectors that require highly secure communication systems. Further, there is no question that consumers—and businesses in the healthcare sector—have specifically relied on Zoom’s false end-to-end encryption representations.”
The lawsuit is asking the DC court for an injunction against Zoom to be able to stop the company from falsifying its security measures. The group is also looking for statutory damages under the DCCPPA which allows for fines of up to $1,500 per violation. So the total possible fine imposed against the company might add up rapidly based on the number of consumers which the court considers to have an effect on the DC-area.
Although, Zoom has been working towards adding end-to-end encryption to its platform and boosting the security of its services.