News

TikTok Consumer Privacy Class Settlement Includes $92M Payout

TikTok
Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The TikTok logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.

In the proposed deal, the social video sharing app also promises to tighten up its data privacy protocols.

TikTok has reached a deal that will resolve a class action complaint over consumer privacy violations via its app and its predecessor Musical.ly and, if it's approved by the court, the social video sharing app will pay $92 million into a settlement fund.

Amid the pandemic-prompted TikTok boom in the spring, a series of suits were filed by users of the social video sharing app and parents of underage TikTokers. The matters were consolidated before an Illinois federal court and on Dec. 18 an amended complaint was filed. Their allegations included that the app doesn't notify users that its filters and effects use facial scans that capture and store biometric data; that after a user records a video TikTok keeps a copy, even if the user never posts it, and there's no notification that any such transfer occurs; and that the app collects private and personally identifiable information and device data for the purpose of collecting revenue through targeted ads.

They were seeking to define the class as either a nationwide group of all U.S. TikTok and Musical.ly users or all users who live in California, Illinois or any state with "materially similar consumer protection laws." As to the biometric privacy issues, there was also a proposed Illinois subclass for all users who reside in that state and used TikTok or Musical.ly to create one or more videos.

Details of the deal were announced Thursday after U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee on Wednesday gave class counsel the green light to file an oversized motion for preliminary approval. In addition to the payout, TikTok has promised to initiate a new privacy compliance training program to protect users' data.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.