In an article by CNET, the news site said that TikTok paid a massive fine amounting to $92 million after allegedly obtaining the private and biometric information of users in the United States and passing it on to third parties. The social network has since maintained that it had not gathered users’ biometric information.
According to TikTok, the collection of this sensitive information may be geared towards providing users with “special video effects, for content moderation, for demographic classification, for content ad recommendations, and for other non-personally-identifying operations.”
Although the changes in the app’s new policy remain, Tech Crunch states that the company failed to acknowledge the importance or the reason why TikTok needs these types of information in the first place.
Tech Crunch points out that while the company maintains they will ask users for consent prior to collecting the said data, this promise remains quite vague, given that the new policy only reads, “where required by law, we will seek any required permissions from you prior to any such collection.”
However, as of writing, Tech Crunch states that only a select few in the country have biometric privacy laws in place. These include the likes of California, Illinois, New York, Texas, and Washington. With the new law, the news site fears that individuals from other states who do not have privacy laws in place will not be informed by TikTok about such collections.
Other information that is already being collected by the Chinese social network include location data, IP addresses, data sent via messages, metadata, app and file names, keystroke patterns, and more, reveals Tech Crunch.