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Saint Paulus Lutheran Church in San Francisco filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the popular video-conferencing platform after a “known serial offender” hacked a May 6 Bible study class.
“The footages were sick and sickening — portraying adults engaging in sexual acts with each other and performing sexual acts on infants and children, in addition to physically abusing them,” the lawsuit says.
The class, consisting mostly of senior citizens, was forced to shut down.
In the class-action lawsuit, Saint Paulus claims it reached out to Zoom Video Communications Inc. for help, “but Zoom did nothing.”
During the hacking, congregants’ computer control buttons were disabled.
The church accuses Zoom of “prioritizing profit and revenue over data protection and user security” and is seeking damages for negligence, invasion of privacy and violations of California state consumer protection and privacy statutes among other things.
“We were deeply upset to hear about this incident, and our hearts go out to those impacted by this horrific event. Words cannot express how strongly we condemn such behavior,’ a Zoom spokesperson said in a statement.
“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 the relevant authorities,” they added. “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.”
Zoom said they recently updated their security features and suggest not sharing the meetings IDs and passwords online, “as appeared to be the case here.”
There have been several other instances of “zoombombing,” including a Massachusetts church that was hijacked with video of a KKK cross-burning video. The FBI is investigating several cases.