Here is what the paragraph 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.
While that’s already a matter of concern, what makes things more serious is that this information has been added to the “Image and Audio Information” section under the heading “Information we collect automatically”. It hints that the firm has already permitted itself to collect this information from the users automatically.
Even worse is that the firm made no specific announcements in this regard. Rather this update quietly rolled out to the users in a buggy state, thereby catching the attention of TechCrunch, which then disclosed the matter.
Should You Be Concerned?
TikTok, in particular, the parent firm Bytedance, has frequently come under scrutiny by the US government for security concerns. Even in September 2020, the Trump administration ordered a ban on TikTok and another service of Chinese origin – WeChat, for such risks. Though, the US court later blocked this decision from implementation.
While TikTok already collects an extensive amount of data automatically from the users, the recent change may concern the Americans. That’s because very few US states currently have adequate laws governing biometric data. In fact, many US states still lack the implementation of any broad scope data privacy laws for the people.
In this situation, TikTok’s statement mentioning “where required by law” shows how the citizens in the majority of US states remain vulnerable given the absence of precise regulations.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.