After a multi-million dollar settlement, Tik Tok in the U.S. adjusted its privacy policy. The result: Tik Tok collects biometric data. From now on, there is explicit permission for this.

Tik Tok gave itself a new privacy policy in the USA on June 2, 2021. In it, the platform now allows itself to collect biometric data from the faces and voices of its users.

Tik Tok collects biometric data

Techcrunch quotes from the new regulations that Tik Tok can now “collect biometric identifiers and biometric information.” This includes facial and voice prints – or as the video platform calls it: Faceprints and Voiceprints.

Before the big collection begins, however, Tik Tok wants to ask its users for their consent – if this is legally necessary.

The adjustment to the privacy policy is part of the company’s “ongoing commitment to transparency,” Techcrunch quotes a spokesperson for the company as saying. Tik Tok has updated its “privacy policy to provide more clarity about the information we may collect.”

The rationale behind the privacy policy adjustment

The privacy policy change was preceded by a class action lawsuit. Tik Tok faced charges in the state of Illinois for violations of the Biometric Information Privacy Act.

More than 20 plaintiffs took action against the platform because Tik Tok allegedly collected and shared their biometric data without permission. Tik Tok then allegedly used this data for a filter, among other things.

The dispute has since been settled, but is costing the social network dearly. Following a settlement, the social network must pay out a payment of 92 million US dollars.

In the settlement, Tik Tok also had to agree not to collect any more biometric data from its users. Unless Tik Tok explicitly lists the case in its privacy policy and complies with all legal requirements.

It can therefore be assumed that Tik Tok now wants to protect itself from further lawsuits with this adjustment. However, the platform still leaves open what exactly is to happen with the collected biometric data.

Adjustment has no impact on the EU

For users in the EU, on the other hand, the changes to the US data protection directive will have no impact. This is also not planned, Spiegel quotes a spokeswoman.

At this time, no updates have been made to our EU privacy policy. We review and update our privacy policies at regular intervals to ensure that they best reflect our current practices based on market, regional and legal requirements.