TikTok agreed to pay $ 92 million to settle dozens of lawsuits, many of them minors, over collecting personal data without consent and selling it to advertisers.
The proposed settlement, billed as one of the largest privacy-related payments in history, includes 89 million US users, some of them as young as six.
The platform collected without consent a massive amount of information from account holders, including biometric data, such as: race, gender, and age, and even information from draft videos that were not publicly shared through the platform.
TikTok initially found itself facing 21 proposed class-action federal lawsuits, which were subsequently merged into a single, multi-region class action lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois.
The lawsuit alleged that the company violated federal laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Video Privacy Protection Act, as well as the privacy laws in Illinois and California.
The platform said: It does not agree with the allegations, but decided to settle the case to avoid prolonging the long litigation battle and in order to focus its efforts on building a safe and enjoyable experience for its community.
The settlement, which is awaiting court approval, also dictates that TikTok stop tracking and storing biometric information, including facial characteristics, and collecting GPS or clipboard data.
It also committed to cutting off US user data overseas and promised to stop collecting data from draft videos.
One of the attorneys involved in the lawsuit said: “This is one of the largest compromises ever achieved in the VCA case.
He added: It also represents one of the largest privacy-related collective actions settlement, and serves as a reminder to companies of the importance of privacy and holding them accountable for violating consumers’ rights.