TikTok’s news privacy policy lets it collect faceprints and voiceprints

TikTok has made major changes to its U.S. privacy policy which now allows the China-based company to collect the biometric data of users in the United States, including their faceprint and voiceprint.

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,” the updated privacy policy says.

TechCrunch reported that the update could enable the social media giant to collect the biometric data of most of the users in the United States without explicitly getting their consent as only a few states have biometric privacy laws, such as Illinois, New York, Washington, California and Texas. 

In February this year, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance paid $92 million in order to settle a class-action lawsuit which alleged that the app violated Illinois’ biometric privacy laws.

Also Read: TikTok opens European Transparency and Accountability Centre to address privacy concerns

TechCrunch also reported that TikTok doesn’t clearly define ‘faceprint’ and ‘voiceprint’, and doesn’t explain why it may collect them. 

A TikTok spokesperson who reached out to TechCrunch said: “As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, we recently updated our Privacy Policy to provide more clarity on the information we may collect.”

Last year, Former US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to ban transactions with ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, saying that TikTok posed a threat to national security. However, the app managed to remain available in the country. 

This week, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to ban US investment in Chinese companies which have connections with the Chinese military. However, the order doesn’t include ByteDance.

Written by Sophie Blake


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