Tiktok Has Updated Its Privacy Policy to Collect Biometrics Data

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 4 Jun 2021

TikTok has silently changed its privacy policy in the US. The new policy reflects that the app “may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information.” It looks like TikTok has permitted itself to collect your personal information, including” faceprints and voiceprints.”

TechCrunch reported a few but crucial changes in TikTok’s privacy policy. It is pretty common for photo editing apps to collect personal data like faceprints. Previously TikTok’s lack of privacy has raised red flags, thus the new privacy policy is concerning.

The first part of the new section explains that TikTok may collect information about the images and audio that are in users’ content, “such as identifying the objects and scenery that appear, the existence and location within an image of face and body features and attributes, the nature of the audio, and the text of the words spoken in your User Content.

While that may sound creepy, other social networks do object recognition on images you upload to power accessibility features (like describing what’s in an Instagram photo, for example), as well as for ad targeting purposes. Identifying where a person and the scenery is can help with AR effects, while converting spoken words to text helps with features like TikTok’s automatic captions.”

The biggest concern is that TikTok doesnt explain how it will use biometric data. “We may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws, such as faceprints and voiceprints, from your User Content.” The policy further states that the app will ask required permission from users for data collection in accordance with US laws.

As TechCrunch points out, TikTok’s reference to biometric data is ambiguous. For instance, it doesnt mention whether it refers to US federal laws or state law. It is also not clear why TikTok needs to collect and store biometric data. This reminds us of the popular saying, “if the service is free, you’re the product.” What do you think of TikTok new privacy policy let us know in the comments below.

[via TechCrunch]