China-Owned TikTok Settles Privacy Lawsuit After Collecting Massive User Data

TikTok settled the class-action lawsuit alleging that its popular entertainment app had violated privacy rights of users.

The lawsuit alleged that TikTok and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, “violated federal and state law by collecting and using, without sufficient notice and consent, Plaintiffs’ personal data in connection with their use of the TikTok – Make Your Day video-sharing application (and/or its predecessor app distributed in the U.S.”

Both sides have been critical of TikTok, claiming that TikTok obtained the personal information of American users at the request of the Communist Chinese government.

Ashton Kutcher, actor recently cautioned parents about the risks of the app. “If I’m China and I want to create a problem in that area of the world, specifically a Naval problem in the South China Sea, I would probably want to utilizeTikTok in order to influence the minds of Americans,” he said at the time.

There are unlimited amounts of user data that the platform can collect.

“They’ve collected ten of millions of pieces of data on Americans,” said Lewis. “This is big data. In the U.S. they use it for advertising … in China, the state uses it for intelligence purposes,” Jim Lewis, senior vice president of the strategic technologies program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, a foreign affairs think tank, told CNBC.

If approved, the $92,000,000 settlement will “pay the members of the Settlement Class who file valid claims, as well as to pay Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees, costs, a service award for the named plaintiffs, and the administrative costs of the settlement.”

 The settlement would also provide “injunctive relief to protect App users’ information.” 

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