FeganScott filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of minors and their guardians against popular smartphone app, TikTok, and its parent company, ByteDance, Inc. The suit claims that certain visual features and effects in the app surreptitiously collect, use, and store users’ facial geometry, which is private, legally protected biometric information.
The suit also claims that TikTok fails to disclose or obtain consent for the collection, use or storage of this data, why it is collecting the data, who has access, or how long it will be retained —all of which is required by law as recognized by the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
In addition to the personal information that users knowingly and unknowingly provide to TikTok, the company also collects information about the user from third parties, such as Facebook and advertising companies, as well as information provided by other TikTok users, the suit alleges.
Further, the suit notes that the FTC found that TikTok was “directed to children” based upon the app’s “subject matter, visual content, music, and the presence of child celebrities or celebrities who appeal to kids,” and that the company had “actual knowledge” that it was collecting personal information from children.
The suit seeks to represent all minors and their guardians who have downloaded the TikTok app and are concerned about the use and storage of their biometric data.