TechCrunch reached out to TikTok for comment but the company was unable to confirm what product developments required the addition of biometric data to its list of disclosures about the information it collects from users. The biometric data collection details were introduced in the newly added section “Image and Audio Information,” which is found under the heading of “Information we collect automatically,” in the policy.
The policy further notes that this part of the data collection is for enabling “special video effects, for content moderation, for demographic classification, for content and ad recommendations, and for other non-personally-identifying operations.”
In relation to collecting biometric data, the policy states: “We may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws, such as faceprints and voiceprints, from your User Content. Where required by law, we will seek any required permissions from you prior to any such collection.”
The statement is quite vague and doesn’t specify whether it’s considering federal law, state law, or both. It also does not explain why TikTok needs this data. It doesn’t define terms such as “faceprints,” or “voiceprints.” It also doesn’t explain how it would seek the “required permissions” from users.
TikTok has faced privacy issues before and is still currently facing a major legal challenge from the former children’s commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, over the app’s collection and use of children’s data. TikTok faces potential damages in the billions if the lawsuit is successful.
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Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org