TikTok implies it’s collecting users' faceprints and voiceprints

New privacy policy gives the app permission to collect biometric data from users

TikTok has informed US-based users that it's now harvesting more personal information from them, likely including "faceprints and voiceprints." 

"We may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws, such as faceprints and voiceprints, from your User Content, the company's new privacy policy states. "Where required by law, we will seek any required permissions from you prior to any such collection."

This potentially important change was first spotted by TechCrunch, which noticed a few intriguing updates to TikTok's privacy policy.

Under the new policy, TikTok may collect information about images and audio in users' content, the policy says, "such as identifying the objects and scenery that appear, the existence and location within an image of face and body features and attributes, the nature of the audio, and the text of the words spoken in your User Content." 

This type of language may sound invasive, but this kind of legal language is fairly common for photo and video apps.

More important is the statement about collecting "biometric identifiers." It doesn't specify what TikTok plans to do with this data or whether it's taking into account federal or state laws or both.

This comes only a few months after TikTok settled a $92 million lawsuit where it was accused of collecting biometric data from users without their consent.

Related Resource

Cost of a data breach report 2020

Find out what factors help mitigate breach costs

cost of a data breach report 2020 - whitepaper from IBMDownload now

The lawsuit accused the social media platform of deploying a complex artificial intelligence (AI) system to scan for facial features in users' videos, alongside algorithms to identify a user's age, gender and ethnicity. 

The accusers claimed that TikTok's app extracted a broad array of such data without consent and shared personal and private viewing histories with third parties, such as Facebook and Google

Also of concern was the potential for this data to be shared with companies based in China, as the lawsuit claims TikTok doesn't adequately disclose how it shares user data with entities outside the US.

Featured Resources

Defeating ransomware with unified security from WatchGuard

How SMBs can defend against the onslaught of ransomware attacks

Free download

The IT expert’s guide to AI and content management

How artificial intelligence and machine learning could be critical to your business

Free download

The path to CX excellence

Four stages to thrive in the experience economy

Free download

Becoming an experience-based business

Your blueprint for a strong digital foundation

Free download

Recommended

Are you over-sharing online?
social media

Are you over-sharing online?

1 Sep 2021
What is customer identity and access management? 
identity and access management (IAM)

What is customer identity and access management? 

19 Aug 2021
Pearson fined $1 million for downplaying severity of 2018 breach
data breaches

Pearson fined $1 million for downplaying severity of 2018 breach

17 Aug 2021
ESign Genie adds fraud detection to its digital signature software
Security

ESign Genie adds fraud detection to its digital signature software

16 Aug 2021

Most Popular

Zoom: From pandemic upstart to hybrid work giant
video conferencing

Zoom: From pandemic upstart to hybrid work giant

14 Sep 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Google takes down map showing homes of 111,000 Guntrader customers
data breaches

Google takes down map showing homes of 111,000 Guntrader customers

2 Sep 2021