TikTok agrees to pay $ 92 million to settle legal disputes allegedly collecting biometric and private information from users

Illinois is currently the only state in the country with a law that allows consumers to seek monetary damages if their biometric information is incorrectly recorded.

The law firms of Carlson Lynch LLP, FeganScott LLC and Bird Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg and Rhow, PC filed on behalf of the users of the TikTok app for preliminary approval of a proposed class action lawsuit of $ 92 million.

The settlement, if approved by the court, would resolve allegations that the social media company improperly collected its users’ biometric and private information and disclosed that information to a third party. In addition to setting up a cash fund for TikTok users, the settlement requires TikTok to launch a new privacy compliance training program and take further steps to protect the privacy of its users in the future.

One of the most popular apps of all time, TikTok is known for its 60 second video sharing network. While TikTok has denied any data breach, the class action lawsuit alleged that the app collected and disclosed personal information in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), the Video Privacy Protection Act, and other consumer and privacy laws.

Public domain image courtesy of Max Pixel. http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Code-View-Face-Binary-Privacy-Policy-Woman-1327493 CC0

Illinois is currently the only state in the country with a law that allows consumers to seek monetary damages if their biometric information is incorrectly recorded. Because of this important, Illinois-specific claim, the settlement suggests that each Illinois class member will receive an additional five shares of the settlement fund of $ 92 million compared to other class members across the country.

The settlement was presented for approval to the Honorable John Z. Lee of Northern Illinois by three attorneys appointed by Judge Lee to lead the case in September 2020 – Beth Fegan of FeganScott LLC of Chicago and Katrina Carroll of Carlson Lynch LLP . and Los Angeles-based Ekwan Rhow from Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg and Rhow, PC.

Co-lead advisor Katrina Carroll emphasized that the benefits of the comparison go beyond the millions of dollars that are being distributed to TikTok users nationwide: “This comparison is important for many reasons. Firstly, it offers compensation to TikTok users, but just as importantly, TikTok respects the privacy of its users in the future. Social media seems so innocuous, but behind the scenes there can be problems collecting, storing, and disclosing data. This agreement is intended to prevent this. “

“It is clear that Illinois is on the cutting edge of data protection law, and this settlement enforces that vital protection,” said Beth Fegan, FeganScott co-lead counsel. “Biometric information is one of the most sensitive private information because it is unique and permanent. User data follows them everywhere and possibly for a lifetime. It is important that their privacy and identity are protected by strict governance to protect themselves from underhanded theft attempts. “

“This is one of the largest consumer settlements ever made in a BIPA case and one of the largest privacy class action settlements,” noted co-lead attorney Ekwan Rhow. “It is a great rest for the class and serves as a reminder to companies that privacy issues are important and they will be held accountable for violations of consumer rights.”

Once approved, attendees will receive information on how to participate in billing.

About Carlson Lynch:

Carlson Lynch was founded in 2004 and has earned national recognition for complex litigation for claimants in the cybersecurity, theft deterrent and consumer protection sectors. The firm’s philosophy is to provide consumers and other individual plaintiffs with the same quality of representation that the largest defense-focused law firms in the country offer their clients. The result is a practice that is both harsh and polished, and one that discourages various clients from some of the most aggressive legal teams in the country. Carlson Lynch has offices in Pittsburgh, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. www.carlsonlynch.com.

About FeganScott LLC:

FeganScott is a national class action law firm dedicated to assisting victims of sexual abuse, discrimination, consumer fraud, antitrust violations and more. Backed by recognized class action lawsuits and experienced attorneys, the firm has successfully recovered $ 1 billion from millions of victims nationwide. FeganScott strives to achieve successful results with integrity and excellence while holding unjust parties accountable. For more information, please visit www.feganscott.com.

About Vogel, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg & Rhow, PC:

Bird Marella was founded in 1981 and is based in Los Angeles. She deals exclusively with complex civil and white-collar crime disputes. The firm is a litigation boutique by nature and consists of litigation attorneys representing national and multinational corporations, government agencies, related companies, partnerships and individuals. Bird Marella cases are diverse but share one common denominator: challenging, high profile disputes and the need for creative and aggressive legal counsel to handle complex challenges. More information is available at www.birdmarella.com.

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