US Lawmakers Want To Know WTF TikTok Is Going To Do With The Biometric Data That They Plan To Collect From Users

TikTok given their recent history of alarming US lawmakers, perhaps should have seen this coming.

TikTok’s has plans to collect biometric identifiers from its users. These plans unsurprisingly have prompted concern among U.S. lawmakers, who are demanding the company reveal exactly what information it collects and what it plans to do with that data:

In a letter sent earlier this month addressed to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune, (R-SD) say they are “alarmed” by the recent change to TikTok’s privacy policy, which allows the company to “automatically collect biometric data, including certain physical and behavioral characteristics from video content posted by its users.”

TechCrunch first reported details of the new privacy policy back in June, when TikTok said it will seek “required permissions” to collect “faceprints and voiceprints” where required by law, but failed to elaborate on whether it’s considering federal law, states laws, or both (only a handful of U.S. states have biometric privacy laws, including Illinois, Washington, California, Texas and New York). Klobuchar and Thune’s letter asks TikTok to explicitly explain what constitutes a “faceprint” and “voiceprint,” as well as to explain how this data will be used and how long it will be retained. The senators also quizzed TikTok on whether any data is gathered for users under the age of 18; whether it makes any inferences about its users based on the biometric data it collects; and to provide a list of all third parties that have access to the data.

It will be interesting to see how TikTok responds to this. They really want to be in the US market. But will they back down from this idea? The would if they were smart. But maybe it’s time for Congress to simply lower the boom on TikTok to make sure that they can’t execute this plan as it really sounds “shady A.F.”

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