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TikTok now collects more data, including ‘Faceprints and Voiceprints’

Tiktok updated its privacy policy for users not residing in EEA, UK and Switzerland, on Wednesday, which now states that the app will collect more data generally and biometric data of US users, including ‘faceprints and voiceprints’.

The privacy policy for users that don’t reside in EEA, UK, Switzerland or US was updated the same day and now allows the video-sharing platform to collect more data through user-generated content, including the pre-uploaded media in the drafts.

Tiktok’s privacy policy update for US users added a new section called ‘Image and Audio Information’ under ‘Information we collect automatically’, where they’ve listed the data collection policy.

According to the update, Tiktok will now also collect “biometric identifiers and biometric information” of users residing in USA.

“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.”

An extract from TikTok’s updated privacy policy (US)

While Tiktok’s fairly detailed privacy policy states that the data is collected to make the platform better and smoother, as well as to facilitate Tiktok and its partner’s business decisions, it’s unclear how biometric data will be used for either purpose.

TikTok will collect device clipboard and pre-loading data of users in USA and ROW

According to Tiktok’s privacy policy for the rest of the world before the June 2 update, any content that wasn’t uploaded completely or was cancelled and not published by the user would be deleted from the company’s servers. However, following the June 2 update, the privacy policy now states that Tiktok will collect user content whether the user chooses to save and upload it or not.

“We collect User Content through pre-loading at the time of creation, import, or upload, regardless of whether you choose to save or upload that User Content, in order to recommend audio options and provide other personalized recommendations.”

An extract from Tiktok’s updated privacy policy (ROW)

While there was no policy for pre-uploaded in US before June 2, the same change also reflects in their privacy policy now.

What is TikTok app and why was it banned in India?

The June 2 update to the privacy policy for users in US and the rest of the world (non-residents of US, EEA, UK and Switzerland) allows Tiktok to access the device’s clipboard data, including text, image and video. Though this will require the user’s permission, clipboard access isn’t ideal for a user’s privacy.

“We may access content, including text, images, and video, found in your device’s clipboard, with your permission. For example, if you choose to initiate content sharing with a third-party platform, or choose to paste content from the clipboard into the TikTok App, we access this information stored in your clipboard in order to fulfill your request.”

An extract from Tiktok’s updated privacy policy (ROW)

The buck doesn’t stop here for Bytedance’s data repository

Data has increasingly become an essential commodity of big tech businesses, and Bytedance is keen on expanding its repository. In addition to the data collection updates mentioned above, Tiktok will also collect user content with and without filters, information about images and audio in the content, script, and more.

According to the updated privacy policy for the rest of the world, these data points will be used “to enable special video effects” and “for content moderation, demographic classification, content and ad recommendations, and for other non-personally-identifying operations” on the platform.

“We may collect information about the images and audio that are a part of your User 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.”

An extract from Tiktok’s updated privacy policy (ROW)

Last month, Tiktok introduced two new developer tools, Sound Kit and Login Kit, which expands its third-party app integrations and allows users to log in to the selected services using their TikTok credentials, including PUBG, IRL, Allstar and more.

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