TikTok agreed to pay $ 92 million to settle a collective lawsuit alleging that the company threatened the privacy of users.
The popular application, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is accused of collecting private and biometric user data, including juvenile data.
The lawsuit stemmed from 21 separate class action lawsuits filed in California and Illinois last year.
If the settlement, which will be decided by the American district court for the northern district of Illinois, is accepted, the company will be required to create a fund for the payment of TikTok users. In addition, TikTok would be required to launch a new privacy training program and take further measures to protect user data.
TikTok is accused of using a “complex system of artificial intelligence (AI)” to recognize facial features in users’ videos, as well as to recommend stickers and filters. Algorithms are also cited as a means of identifying the age, gender, and ethnicity of users.
The lawsuit also alleges that user data was sent to China and shared with third parties, without the user’s consent.
TikTok denied doing anything wrong. However, a statement issued by the company said that although they disagreed with the claims, instead of going through lengthy litigation, they wanted to focus their efforts on building a “safe and joyful experience for the TikTok community.”
In January, TikTok announced stricter controls for young users, which include the default privacy settings and the Duet and Stitch restriction on users over the age of 16.
If the court approves the settlement in the amount of 92 million dollars, according to the terms of the agreement, the plaintiffs in Illinois could get a bigger share because Illinois is the only American state that has a law that allows residents to claim damages when their biometric data is collected or used without consent.
Last year, Facebook agreed to pay $ 550 million for violating the same law in Illinois. Prosecutors have argued that Facebook’s “Tag Suggestions” feature extracts and stores biometric markers without user consent.
Source: Informacija.rs by www.informacija.rs.
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