TikTok Reaches $92 Million Settlement Over Nationwide Privacy Lawsuit
TikTok has agreed to pay $92 million to settle a class action lawsuit over alleged privacy violations, which included claims that the app collected “highly sensitive personal data” to track users and target ads to them. TikTok rejected the allegations but said it didn’t want to spend time litigating the issue.
According to documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, ByteDance agreed to the proposed settlement after “an expert-led inside look at TikTok’s source code,” extensive mediation efforts, and over a year of litigation.
The lawsuit also alleges TikTok “unlawfully transmitted class members’ personal and private viewing histories to third parties like Facebook and Google” and that the company does not “adequately disclose that user data collected from Plaintiffs is stored and shared with affiliates in countries outside the United States, such as China.”
The settlement combines 21 proposed class action lawsuits against TikTok over an assortment of alleged privacy violations. The lawsuit makes some substantial claims, from allegations that TikTok analyzed users’ faces to determine their ethnicity, gender, and age to supposed violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act over its transmission of private data. Nearly all US users would be included in the settlement.
A TikTok spokesperson wrote in a statement “While we disagree with the assertions, rather than go through lengthy litigation, we’d like to focus our efforts on building a safe and joyful experience for the TikTok community.”
The settlement is just one of many that TikTok has made to set aside privacy concerns. The company settled a lawsuit over alleged children’s privacy allegations in 2019, and the same year, it paid $5.7 million to the Federal Trade Commission over accusations that its predecessor, Musical.ly, failed to gain parental approval for young users.