Court Hits Social Media Giant with $92 Million Settlement

An Illinois District Court has granted preliminary approval of a class action settlement between TikTok and its customers (“Plaintiffs”) for alleged invasions of consumer privacy.

The allegation by the Plaintiffs against TikTok is that they flout U.S. Privacy Law by harvesting and profiting from the Plaintiffs’ private information through the app without their knowledge. The app collected information such as:

  • Biometric data
  • Geolocation information
  • Personally identifiable information
  • Unpublished digital recordings

The Plaintiffs have reached a settlement agreement with TikTok of $92 million to be distributed to class members. The Court provisionally certified two settlement classes:

  • Nationwide Class: All persons who reside in the United States who used the App— the TikTok video-sharing application (or its Musical.ly predecessor) distributed in the U.S.— prior to September 30, 2021.
  • Illinois Subclass: All persons who reside in the State of Illinois and used the App in the State of Illinois to create videos prior to September 30, 2021.

As well as the settlement, TikTok has agreed to not use the app to collect or store a domestic user’s biometric data, geolocation information or ‘clipboard’ content. They have also agreed to stop pre-uploading domestic user-generated content unless it is expressly disclosed in TikTok’s privacy policy, and it is in compliance with all applicable laws. They are now also required to design a new annual training program for their employees on compliance with data privacy laws. And they will now need to hire a third-party firm at their own expense to review their data privacy training for a period of three years.

When your company is harvesting a lot of data it can quickly become a minefield and difficult to know exactly what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Don’t leave anything to chance. With our Privacy services we can advise you on what you need to be doing and how to keep data safe. This case resulted in a $92 million settlement, don’t wait until you get hit with a big fine, contact us now to find out what we can do for you. 

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