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04 June 2021
Data protection & privacyWebsites, online services, appsDouyin/TikTok
As TechCrunch reports, the new policy wording comes after the social media app, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, paid out $92 million in February this year to settle a class action in Illinois over charges it broke biometric privacy law in that state.
The wording of the new policy refers to asking user permission to collect biometrics “Where required by law”. This carefully worded assurance means TikTok’s policy allows it to collect the data of most US users without their express permission because only a few states in the US have laws to restrict the gathering of such information.
No explanation has been given by TikTok about why it wants the data and what it might be used for and there is no clear definition of “faceprints” or “voiceprints”.
As Tech Crunch reports, TikTok already has a huge amount of personal data collected from its users – information about people’s devices, users’ location via their SIM card and IP addresses, and GPS; how people use TikTok and the content looked at and uploaded, along with the information contained in messages sent via the app, as well as an array of other data like keystroke patterns and rhythms.
All this is on top of information collected when users register, which includes names, profile photos, social media accounts, phone and social network contacts and payment information.