Tiktok, one of the biggest mobile gaming platforms in the world, recently announced its data breach settlement. The company reportedly said that a security flaw allowed hackers to access personal information for millions of users. In a bid to protect users’ data, it has agreed to pay out a $12.5 million fine. It has also agreed to impose injunctive relief on its developers to better protect users’ personal information.
Class action lawsuits filed
TikTok has been the subject of several investigations in recent months. It has been accused of collecting biometric data on children without their consent, and it has been found to have sent personal information to third parties. There has also been speculation that the company has been breaching the EU’s GDPR.
TikTok’s main source of revenue is from selling digital advertising space. However, many experts are concerned about the app’s data tracking capabilities. For example, it collects users’ browsing history, profile pictures, and physical location of their phones. This allows TikTok to show users advertisements based on their interests.
In November last year, TikTok notified eligible users that they would be able to participate in a class action settlement. TikTok is estimated to have 89 million users in the U.S.
Under the settlement, TikTok agreed to stop sending users’ personal information outside of the U.S., to stop collecting biometric data on users, and to delete user-generated content. They also agreed to notify users about the Data Privacy Settlement.
A number of lawsuits have been filed against TikTok, including one by Misty Hong. TikTok is accused of collecting the personal data of minors under 13. Some of the minors involved were as young as six years old. Among the allegations is that TikTok used facial recognition to determine the users’ preferences.
The investigation revealed that TikTok concealed its data collection practices. Its Terms of Service and the source code were obfuscated. Therefore, TikTok had no way of knowing when it was storing and sharing data.
Approximately 1.2 million claims have been submitted so far. However, there is a chance that there are still more people who could file claims. If you are unsure whether you qualify, read the FAQ section on the Settlement Administrator’s website.
As of now, the class is divided into two classes: a nationwide class and an Illinois subclass. If you have been a TikTok user, you are eligible to submit a claim for a share of the $92 million settlement. You can submit a claim until March 1, 2022.
Injunctive relief to safeguard App users’ information
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Methods of payouts
TikTok has been accused of collecting and transferring users’ private data without their permission. A class action lawsuit was filed against the company, and the company agreed to pay $92 million.
The settlement will cover various administrative costs, as well as a portion of the plaintiff’s attorney fees. Users will also receive compensation for time spent dealing with the breach. Some users will receive up to $25 an hour.
TikTok will no longer be recording or tracking user location or biometric data. Additionally, the company has agreed to delete pre-uploaded user-generated content. It will also stop collecting information from draft videos before they’re published.
In November of last year, TikTok notified eligible users of the data privacy settlement. Now, it’s time for users to claim.
According to the notice, anyone who used the TikTok app before September 30, 2021 may qualify for a portion of the settlement. They will be able to choose between Venmo, PayPal, or a paper check. Once the claim is verified, TikTok will make payment through the selected method.
Those who qualify can claim a small portion of the settlement, but they have only two months to do so. Even then, it may take a long time to reach all of the TikTok users.
However, the notification email will include a link to the settlement website, which users can use to learn more. It will also include a claim number and instructions on how to file a claim.
While a lot of users have been receiving these notifications, many are unsure if the message is legitimate. There has been a social media stir over the emails, which have been wiped out from several users’ accounts.
Several people have reported receiving money from the settlement, which is being distributed via Venmo. Others have reported receiving less than $10, though others have claimed to have received as much as $167.
The class action lawsuit is currently being overseen by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. If you’re interested in filing a claim, it will need to be filed by July 24, 2021.
Impact of Illinois’s BIPA law
The TikTok data breach settlement illustrates the impact of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The statute is one of the few pro-consumer privacy laws in the U.S., and has had a significant impact on the behavior of tech companies.
This law requires any entity that collects biometric information to notify individuals of their right to privacy, as well as informed consent. BIPA provides for a private cause of action, which makes it possible for individuals to sue and obtain injunctive relief and monetary damages.
In its seminal BIPA ruling, the Illinois Supreme Court stated that plaintiffs do not need to allege actual injury to seek BIPA relief. Instead, courts should determine whether an entity’s actions violated the statute.
Many online retailers are being targeted for class action lawsuits alleging BIPA violations. They are alleged to be using facial recognition technology that identifies customers’ ages, gender, and emotional disposition.
The Kashkeesh case, which targets a proprietary technology platform company, is the latest in a string of BIPA suits against biometric technology companies. It is a case that highlights the increased risks to companies that use facial recognition.
Facebook has recently agreed to pay $650 million to settle a lawsuit relating to the infringement of the company’s privacy policies. The lawsuit, filed by the Chicago-based firm of Edelson PC, alleged that the social networking site violated BIPA by allowing users to tag friends and by collecting biometric data on users without their permission.
As of now, there are no official details about how many participants in the class-action suit are involved. However, the website dedicated to the settlement states that those living in Illinois who used Snapchat Lenses or Filters between November 17, 2015 and now are eligible to submit claims. Those suing should be aware of the requirements of BIPA and should consult with an attorney if they are planning on bringing suit against a company.
Among the most important issues to consider in a BIPA lawsuit is the amount of claim accrual and the scope of liability exposure. According to the Illinois Supreme Court, these issues will be decided in a ruling in the upcoming Cothron v. White Castle Sys.