ByteDance to pay $92 million in US privacy settlement

TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance has agreed to pay $92 million in a settlement to US users who are part of a class-action lawsuit alleging that the videosharing app failed to get their consent to collect data in violation of a strict Illinois privacy law.

The federal lawsuit alleged that TikTok broke the Illinois biometric privacy law, which allows suits against companies that harvest consumer data without consent, including via facial and fingerprint scanning.

Illinois is the only state with a law that allows people to seek monetary damages for such unauthorised data collection.

“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,” TikTok said in an emailed statement.

Facebook agreed to a $550 million settlement under the same law last February. The TikTok settlement must still be approved by a federal judge.

Privacy advocates have praised the law as the nation’s strongest form of protection in the commercial use of such data, and it has survived ongoing efforts by the tech industry and other businesses to weaken it.

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