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TikTok Parent ByteDance Ordered to Pay $92M Privacy Settlement

ByteDance Ltd. will have to pay $92 million in a class action settlement for violating user privacy on TikTok.

The China-based internet technology company, whose U.S. TikTok headquarters is in Culver City, was handed the judgment by a Chicago federal court Oct. 5 after the court determined the social networking service wrongfully collected users’ private data and shared the information with third parties.

 
In addition to paying the settlement amount into a fund for distribution, the company faces potential new requirements for TikTok’s privacy disclosures to consumers, as well as implementing compliance training programs for its employees and contractors.

 
TikTok uses physiological traits such as fingerprints, facial characteristics and patterns in voice cadence to verify its users’ identities. According to the judgment, however, TikTok’s use of these identifiers violated Illinois consumer privacy laws implemented through the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, which mandates that companies must obtain informed consent before either using or selling the data. 

Todd Gilchrist
Todd Gilchrist
Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based reporter and film critic with 20+ years of experience at dozens of print and online outlets, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and Fangoria. An obsessive soundtrack collector, sneaker aficionado and member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Todd currently lives in Silverlake, California with his amazing wife Julie, two cats Beatrix and Biscuit, and several thousand books, vinyl records and Blu-rays.
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