TikTok to Pay $92 Million in Class Action Privacy Settlement
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
TikTok recently agreed to pay a $92 million settlement to TikTok users in the United States after a year of litigation over privacy concerns. While the social media giant did not admit to any of the allegations contained in the multidistrict action, the plaintiffs’ legal team is hopeful that the high settlement will discourage TikTok from mishandling its users’ personal data in the future.
TikTok was facing 21 federal lawsuits merged into one multi-district action.
Illinois is the only state that allows consumers to seek monetary compensation for the theft of biometric data.
This was another contributing factor in combining the 21 original lawsuits. Illinois’s Biometric Privacy Act details both the type of data considered “biometric” and “private”, as well as the steps a person can take if they suspect a company or employer has mishandled their biometric data. Not only does the combined lawsuit allege that TikTok analyzes user faces in their published videos, but it also accuses the company of mining unpublished draft videos for this data as well. The data theft victims in this suit include users as young as 6 years old.
The lawsuit accused TikTok of collecting and storing biometric data from their users.
This data was allegedly collected by analyzing the faces of their users to determine identifying information such as age, gender, and ethnicity. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that this and other private information was sent overseas, specifically to servers in China. Other privacy data supposedly collected without user permission includes users’ GPS locations and clipboard data. The settlement would also prohibit TikTok from engaging in these alleged privacy violations without written consent from their users. Despite TikTok’s denial of the allegations in this suit, after a year of litigation and a $92 million settlement, it seems likely that big changes are coming in regard to how TikTok approaches user privacy and biometric data.