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TikTok Pays Millions Over The Alleged 'Theft' Of Personal Data

by Kim Jam / Mar 01, 2021 03:16 AM EST

The social media giant TikTok has agreed to pay a $92 million settlement lawsuit accusing the popular video-sharing app of misusing artificial intelligence to track and store users' data.

TikTok was also accused of obtaining users' information using facial recognition technology without consent and shared the data with third-parties, some of which were based in China.

The company still disputes and denied accusations thrown against them but said it wanted to avoid a court case.

"First, it provides compensation for TikTok users, but equally as important, it ensures TikTok will respect its users' privacy going forward," Katrina Carroll, TikTok lawyer, stressed in a report.

"Social media seems so innocuous, but troubling data collection, storage, and disclosure can happen behind the scenes," the lawyer added.

There are 21 separate class actions of the federal lawsuit, claiming that both TikTok and its predecessor Musical.ly invaded numerous users' privacy - including minors.

 "Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that the TikTok app infiltrates its users' devices and extracts a broad array of private data including biometric data and content that Defendants use to track and profile TikTok users for the purpose of, among other things, ad targeting and profit," reads the settlement agreement filed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on Thursday.

"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 a statement.

If the settlement is agreed upon by a federal judge, the money will be divided among US-based TikTok users.

The case was brought in Illinois, which the State has strict laws in using biometrics.

The firm agreed to declare in its privacy policy whether the social media giants gather users' biometric data or GPS data and whether it stores or transmits user data outside the U.S.

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