Thursday, September 16, 2021

TikTok Updates Terms to Collect Biometric Data

TikTok is at it again, threatening user privacy as it updates its terms to collect biometric data.

TikTok is one of the most controversial social media platforms, in large part due to its repeated, flagrant disregard for privacy. The company has been sued over accusations it collected and uploaded videos to servers in China without consent, without the user even having an account. The company has been accused of repeatedly violating child privacy, censoring individuals it didn’t consider beautiful enough to be showcased and has been warned by the EU over its handling of data. Even the CEO of Reddit called the platform “fundamentally parasitic.”

The latest controversy involves a change to the company’s privacy policy, allowing it to collect biometric data.

We may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws, such as faceprints and voiceprints, from your User Content. Where required by law, we will seek any required permissions from you prior to any such collection.

In many ways, the change is not particularly surprising. The company recently settled a lawsuit in Illinois for $92 million over its handling of biometric data. Notably, the company never admitted to the accusations in the aforementioned lawsuit. The change to the company’s privacy policy, however, gives it the ability to do what it was accused of doing, while committing to following applicable laws.

All of which does little to change the validity of Reddit’s CEO that the platform is “fundamentally parasitic,” and not one anybody concerned about privacy should have on their phone.

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