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TikTok’s Owner, ByteDance To Pay $92 million In US Settlement

Video sharing platform TikTok allegedly broke the law concerning consumer data privacy. The company has allegedly broken the Illinois privacy law that allows suits to be taken against companies who go ahead to use the information of their consumers without any consent. The Chinese video sharing app owned by parent company ByteDance has agreed to pay the sum of $92 million in a settlement to American users who belong to a class-action lawsuit that claim that TikTok failed to ask for their consent to obtain information and this is in line with the Illinois privacy law.

According to the lawsuit, video sharing app, TikTok broke the law and took the information of users without their permission. The Illinois privacy law enables people to file suits against companies who use their information without their permission. Such data includes facial scanning and fingerprints, according to Illinois law. Currently, Illinois is the only state in the United States that allows people to seek monetary compensation as damages for unauthorized data collection such as which TikTok is being charged for.

According to an email from TikTok the company said that, ‘while we disagree with the assertions, rather than go through lengthy litigation, we’d like to focus our efforts on building a safe and joyful experience for the TikTok community’.

The TikTok settlement must still be approved by a federal judge before it can take place.  Last February, under the same law, Facebook agreed to pay a settlement of $550 million after it was accused to the same thing.

Advocates of privacy-related laws and social media safety have lauded the law and called it America’s strongest form of protection in the commercial use of people’s data. These set of people also praised the law’s resilience against the efforts of businesses and the tech industry in general.

Although Illinois is not the only state that have laws concerning biometric lawsuits, it is the only one (the remaining two states are Texas and Washington) that allows individual lawsuits. The other two only allow delegating enforcement to their attorney general.

Experts say that lawsuits like this will serve as deterrent to tech companies that continue to harvest consumer data without their permission.

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