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TikTok Amends Privacy Policy to Allow Collection of Biometric Identifiers and Information

TikTok iconWriting for TechCrunch, Sarah Perez covers how social video firm TikTok has extended its privacy policy in the US to collect “biometric identifiers and biometric information” from user-generated content. The revamped privacy policy states:

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.

As Perez points out, this brief statement sidesteps numerous details and never says why TikTok needs this data. Only a handful of US states have biometric privacy laws, including California, Illinois, New York, Texas, and Washington. The change follows a $92 million settlement in a class action lawsuit filed against TikTok for violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

Why do we get the feeling that TikTok is basically creating a huge database of content for use in future deepfake videos? Earlier this week, the Biden administration revoked the Trump-era ban on TikTok (and WeChat) in favor of a framework for identifying the actual national security risks posed by foreign apps. That could even increase the pressure on the likes of TikTok since such a framework would be more likely to withstand court challenges.

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