The era of TikTok comes at a price, where the popular video-sharing app agreed to a $92 million settlement today. Dozens of lawsuits filed on behalf of minors claimed that the app harvested their personal data without consent. Furthermore, they shared it with third parties with some based in China.
This settlement has now become the largest privacy-related payouts in US history, where 89 million users have been affected. The personal data breach is certainly a violation of state and federal law.
“First, it provides compensation for TikTok users, but equally as important. [It] ensures TikTok will respect its users’ privacy going forward. Social media seems so innocuous, but troubling data collection, storage, and disclosure can happen behind the scenes.”Katrina Carroll, lawyer of TikTok users
A spokesperson for the company has stated they will focus their efforts o building a safe and joyful experience for the community now. Because it took something so big like a lawsuit related to minors to get them to change, got it. The idea of TikTok is entertaining, but it comes at a cost. What the users choose to put out there is also on them. I personally feel that the app is geared for a younger audience, but can still be a good possible marketing realm.
Still, the internet and media are vastly unregulated which is why we continue to have these kinds of problems. You can blame someone but who started it? We all knew about the ban with Byte Dance that the last presidency tried to warn us about. But I get it, it’s too much fun for COVID-19; we needed an outlet. I’ll admit I’ve learned a lot from it like places to eat and things to do. Small business certainly benefit and I thrive on cute animal videos.
However, this legal battle has been going on for a year. Isn’t that saying something? Now, it’s time to clean up after “clandestinely vacuuming up” private and personally identifiable data without permission? Remember the outcome of the $650 million Facebook data privacy scandal?
So, What Happens Now?
Apparently, TikTok is no longer going to record a user’s biometric information, like facial recognition, or track a user’s location. They’re also supposedly going to stop sending US data overseas (which shouldn’t have been done in the first place). This is a warning to still delete your drafts, people. Remember, you are someone’s business model.