Privacy: $92 million fine for TikTok

TikTok was accused of misusing “highly sensitive data”. After a class action lawsuit was filed in the US, the company has now agreed to a settlement, even though TikTok continues to deny the allegations.

Settlement of $92 million

In filing the class action lawsuit, TikTok was accused of violating several federal laws and consumer protection laws. Specifically, the company failed to comply with cybersecurity and user privacy laws in the state of California. Chinese parent company Bytedance allegedly used its video platform to collect biometric data from users using facial recognition software. Using this software, estimates of age, ethnicity, and gender were provided and stored. In addition, the company allegedly collected additional “highly sensitive data” and even sold it to third parties.

So far, TikTok denies these allegations, but has nevertheless agreed to a $92 million settlement. According to the company, the facial recognition software was only used for preventive purposes. As a justification, TikTok primarily cited that minors should not use the app improperly. The company also rejects the other accusations in the class action lawsuit. TikTok merely wanted to prevent the legal proceedings from dragging on unnecessarily and only agreed to the settlement for that reason. The Bytedance video platform would rather use its resources to provide a “safe and enjoyable experience” for TikTok users. Aside from that, TikTok wants to comply with case law and the law by only collecting data that has been listed in its TOS and privacy policy.

First breaches already in 2019

This is not the first violation of the video platform against applicable law. Already in 2019, the company was accused of violating privacy laws. TikTok had violated youth protection regulations with its app. As a result, 5.7 million US dollars were due. Not only the U.S. is keeping a close eye on the video platform, but European countries are also closely monitoring the activities of parent company Bytedance. Quite apart from that, the issue of banning the app in the USA is not yet over.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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