TikTok To Pay $92 Million For Violating Illinois Privacy Laws
In the interests of full disclosure, I must confess to not being a TikTok user. I'm completely aware of TikTok, and what the world's fastest-growing social media platform is all about thanks to my daughter Molly, a somewhat avid user.
Rather than try to break it down for you, here's how Dictionary.com describes TikTok in just a few words:
TikTok is a social app that allows users to make short videos. Users can add filters, text, sounds, and music, and it is especially popular to make creative, lip-synched music videos. Users scroll through a newsfeed, react to content, and navigate with hashtags.
Like on most social media, there's some fun and interesting stuff, and there's lots of worthless junk, depending on what you're in to.
The State of Illinois, for instance, is not at all interested in letting social media giants go ahead and break our state's privacy laws--at least not without paying for it. Illinois has laws in place that forbid the collection of certain data without an okay from the user. The Associated Press (AP) summarizes:
The federal lawsuit alleged that TikTok broke the Illinois biometric privacy law, which allows suits against companies that harvest consumer data without consent, including via facial and fingerprint scanning. Illinois is the only state with a law that allows people to seek monetary damages for such unauthorized data collection.
If you recall, Facebook agreed to a $550 million settlement in February of last year for the very same reason. Now, TikTok's Chinese parent company, ByteDance, says they'll pay out nearly $100 million for their transgressions.
For many companies, a payout like that would probably end the business. However, when you're as big as TikTok and Facebook, that's just "getting rid of a nuisance" money.
InfluencerMarketingHub.com, in listing some facts about TikTok, says that they have 800 million users worldwide in 154 countries who spend an average of 500 minutes per month on the app.
Just hit them all up for a few cents each, and you've got your settlement covered.