The Deadline for This TikTok Class Action Suit Is Approaching Fast
Popular video app, TikTok, has recently announced that they plan to settle a class-action lawsuit. Almost all app users are able to apply for a payout, so it's important to know all the details about the suit.
Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Major Privacy Breach
Since it first became popular, there has been a lot of concern about how TikTok uses and collects user data. Many security experts have pointed out issues with the app, and some government officials have even recommended not using it. Despite these security concerns, the app remains wildly popular due to its ability to show users exactly the sort of content they like. A class-action lawsuit alleges that TikTok gets this data through unethical means.
The lawsuit claims that TikTok used a complicated artificial intelligence system to analyze users' faces in videos, collect demographic information on users, and then generate targeted content with this information. In states like Illinois, TikTok collecting biometric data without users' consent would count as violating a privacy law. Even in states that don't have biometric regulations, TikTok may still have broken privacy laws.
The app collected massive amounts of user data, including things like location, age, race, and gender. This information was provided to third-party groups to enhance their advertising capabilities. According to the class-action lawsuit, TikTok violated a variety of regulations by collecting and sharing private user information without users' consent.
TikTok Agrees to a $92 Million Lawsuit
After the class action lawsuit was filed, TikTok immediately began negotiating a settlement. Throughout the course of the negotiations, TikTok has been very clear that they are not confirming any of the allegations of wrongdoing. However, despite maintaining their innocence, the company has chosen to go ahead and settle. According to their legal team, they wanted to focus on settling the case because a legal battle would be time-consuming and expensive.
Overall, TikTok has agreed to pay claimants a total of $92 million. There is no definitive statement on how much money each claimant will get. Instead, the total settlement amount will be divided equally among all the claimants. Therefore, if you join this suit, your settlement will depend on how many other people are in the class-action lawsuit. Roughly 89 million TikTok users could be eligible to join the lawsuit, but just like any other class-action lawsuit, the real number of claimants is much lower.
The TikTok settlement also requires the company to delete some of the problematically collected data. TikTok will also agree to quit collecting biometric information and user location without consent. They will no longer store or transmit data from U.S. users to other nations, and they will not give this data to third-party organizations like Facebook.
How to See If You're Eligible for a Payout
The final approval for this settlement is fast approaching, so it is important to see if you can join the lawsuit as soon as possible. Anyone who used the TikTok app before October 1, 2021 is eligible to join. This includes anyone who downloaded the app onto their phone, tablet, or another device. You do not need to have actually made videos or used the app for a specific amount of time. Simply downloading it onto your phone and opening it was enough to result in some major privacy breaches.
However, if you are an Illinois resident and did make videos, you might be eligible for a larger payout. The class-action suit contains a lawsuit made up of Illinois residents that created videos. Due to state laws, these people had some additional violations of their rights. They can get a payment that is six times as large as non-Illinois residents.
The court will approve the settlement on May 18, 2022, so you need to add your name to the lawsuit before then if you want to take part. Any minors will need a parent to submit a claim on their behalf. Both Illinois and non-Illinois residents must file a claim by March 1, 2022 to join the lawsuit. If you fail to do so, you will not be able to get part of the settlement payment.
To file a claim, all you need to do is go to the class action website at http://www.tiktokdataprivacysettlement.com/. From this site, you can enter your information and ask to join the class action lawsuit. The site will request some personal information, so they can make sure you get your payment in a timely manner.