TikTok Just Gave Itself Permission To Collect Your ‘Biometric Information’

by : Daniel Richardson on : 04 Jun 2021 12:44
TikTok Just Gave Itself Permission To Collect Your 'Biometric Information'PA Images/Wallpaper Flare

TikTok has updated its US privacy policy and it will now have permission to collect your biometric information. 

The social media app has been under plenty of scrutiny in recent years. Despite being incredibly popular, TikTok concerned the Trump administration because of its Chinese ownership and the data it collected.


As a result, Trump tried to ban the app, but given the fact the US version of the platform keeps data in the country, the case fell through.

It now seems that the app is further changing its privacy policies in the US, and has given itself permission to ‘collect biometric identifiers and biometric information’ from its users’ content. This includes face and voiceprints.

TikTok on phone (PA Images)PA Images

The updated privacy policy has notable changes in the ‘Image and Audio Information’ sub-heading of its ‘Information We Collect Automatically’ section.


It notes that the app will be able to collect data by: 

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.

The updated policy also stats: ‘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.’

On the back of this change of data handling, there have been many questions. Firstly, not all US states have laws established on this kind of content and this could lead to TikTok using the data with no accountability.

TikTok logo (PA Images)PA Images

Although there is a lack of clarity of how this policy will impact users, other social media applications have implemented similar policies. The likes of Facebook and Instagram also take part in object recognition so that captions can be automated and adverts can be targeted.

This update comes after a $92 million lawsuit against TikTok by the state of Illinois in accordance with its Biometric Information Privacy Act. With this in mind, it seems some states will be keeping a close eye on what this new privacy policy allows the company to do with the data it collects.

When asked for comment about the new policy, a TikTok spokesman told TechCrunch: ‘As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, we recently updated our Privacy Policy to provide more clarity on the information we may collect.’


Featured Image Credit: PA Images/Wallpaper Flare

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. Through working with the likes of Game Rant, The Hook and What Culture, Dan pursued his interests in technology. The skills he picked up along the way are now being utilised with UNILAD.

Topics: Technology, Now, TikTok, US


  1. TechCrunch

    TikTok Gave Itself Permission To Collect Biometric Data On US Users, Including 'Faceprints And Voiceprints'