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ByteDance/TikTok biometric data privacy lawsuit closer to closure?

ByteDance/TikTok biometric data privacy lawsuit closer to closure?

A federal judge in Illinois last week tentatively approved a proposed $92 million settlement in the class action filed against Chinese social media company ByteDance on behalf of as many as 89 million U.S. subscribers to the firm’s TikTok video service.

At the same time, Judge John Z. Lee overruled technical objections by a handful of putative class members, which had held up a settlement of the multidistrict allegations under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act and federal law reached earlier in the year.

Without admitting wrong, ByteDance agreed in February to the settlement amount. Its executives have been accused of collecting subscribers’ biometrics and personally identifying data, tracking the data and in some cases, sharing it with third parties without anyone’s consent.

Besides the financial outlay, ByteDance agreed to hire a third-party firm for three years to oversee data privacy training for employees, and to avoid collecting biometrics and location data from users.

Judge Lee, according to Law Street Media, said there are factors that ByteDance could use to get this case dismissed or at least transferred to arbitration, where odds of an outcome more to its liking could be had. For example, the judge found significant ByteDance’s assertion that TikTok does not use facial recognition.

ByteDance faces ongoing troubles regardless.

It faces a lawsuit from a former UK regulator over alleged violations of child data protection laws in both the UK and EU, according to a site launched in support of the filing.

Then there are attacks it is getting from politicians.

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