TikTok Scans Facial Geometry Without Consent Illinois BIPA Class Action

TikTok, Inc. is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the US. The complaint for this class action brings suit against TikTok and its parent company ByteDance, Inc. for allegedly collecting storing, and using the biometric information and biometric identifiers of its users without the users’ knowledge or consent, in violation of Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

The class for this action is all individuals whose biometric identifiers or biometric information, including scans of their facial geometry, collected, captured, received, or otherwise obtained by TikTok or ByteDance through the TikTok app, or its predecessor Musical.ly, while living in Illinois.

The plaintiff in this case is identified only as “CH,” a sixteen-year-old minor, with the case brought by his father and guardian, Marc Halpin.

TikTok has occasion to collect facial geometry information from users. For one thing, it scans users’ faces and then uses an algorithm to estimate the user’s age. It also scans users’ faces and allows them to impose animated features on the faces or otherwise alter their appearances.

Biometric identifiers are different from other forms of identification in that if they are stolen, they cannot be replaced. People can get a replacement credit card or social security number, but they cannot get new fingerprints or faces. For this reason, Illinois passed BIPA as a first step in regulating the collection and use of biometrics.

Under BIPA, a private entity like TikTok must do certain things before collecting, storing, or using biometric information:

  • It must inform the subject or the subject’s legal representative in writing that the biometric information is being collected or stored.
  • It must inform the subject or the subject’s legal representative in writing of the purpose and length of term for which the information is being collected, stored, and used.
  • It must receive an informed, written consent from the subject or the subject’s legal representative.

It must also observe some requirements about the management of the information:

  • It must have a written policy, available to the public, setting forth a retention schedule and guidelines for permanently destroying the biometric information when the initial purpose has ended of within three years of the individual’s last interaction with it, whichever comes first.
  • Finally, it may not “disclose, redisclose, or otherwise disseminate” the users’ biometric information unless the subject or the subject’s legal representative consents to it. It also may not sell, lease, trade, or otherwise profit from the biometric information.

The complaint alleges that TikTok does not follow these requirements.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

TikTok Scans Facial Geometry Without Consent Illinois BIPA Complaint

June 5, 2020

TikTok, Inc. is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the US. The complaint for this class action brings suit against TikTok and its parent company ByteDance, Inc. for allegedly collecting storing, and using the biometric information and biometric identifiers of its users without the users’ knowledge or consent, in violation of Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

TikTok Scans Facial Geometry Without Consent Illinois BIPA Complaint

Case Event History

TikTok Scans Facial Geometry Without Consent Illinois BIPA Complaint

June 5, 2020

TikTok, Inc. is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the US. The complaint for this class action brings suit against TikTok and its parent company ByteDance, Inc. for allegedly collecting storing, and using the biometric information and biometric identifiers of its users without the users’ knowledge or consent, in violation of Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

TikTok Scans Facial Geometry Without Consent Illinois BIPA Complaint
Tags: Biometric Data, Collecting Personal Data Without Notice/Consent, Taking/Storing/Using Biometric Data, Your Privacy