The short video company wants to collect and evaluate biometric data from users in the USA in the future. It is not clear what these are used for.
A new section of the Tiktok terms and conditions says: “Tiktok can collect information about the images and sound recordings of the content of users. This includes, for example, the identification of objects and scenery that appear in a clip, the existence and position of facial and body features and attributes within an image, and the type of sound and voice recording used in the clips. ”
The use of such detection tools is nothing new. Other social media platforms also use such object recognition technologies in order to facilitate accessibility for people with visual or hearing impairments, for example. For example, certain tools can verbally describe what can be seen on an Instagram picture or generate automatic subtitles.
Tiktok goes one step further and describes that the collected data can be used for special video effects, the moderation of the content, the classification of your demographics and advertising, among other things.
The company remains vague when it comes to evaluating the facial and voice prints of its users. The new terms and conditions only say: “We can collect biometric information from user content in accordance with US law. In accordance with applicable law, we must first ask you for the necessary permission. ” What this data is used for remains open.
So far, these adjustments to the GTC only apply to US users. It remains to be seen whether the new regulation will soon be introduced worldwide. The changes come at a time when Tiktok is working hard to win back the trust of its users. Because this was shaken during the presidency of Donald Trump when Trump tried to have Tiktok completely blocked in the USA. The reason given was concerns about the data security of the users of the Chinese app.
The app collects, among other things, sensitive data such as GPS information, IP addresses, cell phone battery status, users’ typing behavior, and SIM card information. However, Tiktok has repeatedly given assurances that it has never shared data with the Chinese government or deliberately censored certain content. In the end, there was no Tiktok ban in the USA.