Immediately after the virtual classroom, whose attendees were mostly seniors, closed, the administrator of St. Paulus Lutheran Church contacted Zoom Video Communications Inc. for assistance, “but Zoom did not nothing done,” according to the complaint, which was filed as a proposed class action.
“We were deeply shocked to learn of this incident, and our hearts go out to those affected by this horrific event,” Zoom said in a statement. “Words cannot express how strongly we condemn such behavior. The same day we learned of this incident, we identified the offender, took steps to block their access to the platform, and reported it to the appropriate authorities.
Zoom has seen global usage of its service increase during the coronavirus shutdowns, but has come under increasing pressure over vulnerabilities in the app’s software encryption. The company has been sued amid accusations of hiding flaws in its app and has seen instances of online trolls sneaking around and disrupting web meetings with profanity and pornography.
The company announced measures to bolster security and privacy, including a blog post in March aimed at helping users block uninvited guests from joining their meetings. Zoom advises users not to widely share online meeting IDs and passwords.
Saint Paulus said his May 6 Bible study class was hacked by a ‘known offender – who has been reported to authorities on several occasions’ – and his congregants’ computer control buttons were disabled during the attacks.
The church is seeking unspecified damages for breach of privacy and a court order restraining the company from engaging in negligent business practices.