Settlement is one of the most important in privacy class action cases
CHICAGO, October 04, 2021– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – A Chicago federal court has granted preliminary approval of a $ 92 million class action settlement on behalf of users of the TikTok app, and its previous app Musical.ly, over the allegations according to which the social media company allegedly wrongly collected users’ biometric information and private data. , according to FeganScott. The social media company then allegedly disclosed users’ private data and information to third parties in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), Federal Video Privacy Protection Act and d ‘other consumer and privacy protection laws.
Biometric identifiers are physiological traits such as fingerprints, facial patterns, or voice cadence. They can be used to verify the identity of a user and are considered to be more reliable than other forms of identification. It’s against the law in Illinois.
The settlement includes a $ 92 million fund to distribute to group members, a requirement for TikTok to disclose information to consumers in certain circumstances, and for the company to launch a new training program on privacy compliance. data for all TikTok employees and contractors.
“Ten years ago, we were concerned that companies like TikTok were collecting email addresses and buying behavior data,” said Beth Fegan, managing member of law firm FeganScott. “Now the level of sophistication employed by these companies has increased exponentially – they collect billions of user attributes ranging from the color of eyes and facial expressions to the way a person moves or gestures. “
The court provisionally certified two classes of settlement:
National Class: Anyone residing in the United States who used the app – the TikTok video sharing app (or its predecessor Musical.ly) distributed in the United States – before September 30, 2021.
Illinois subcategory: Anyone who resides in the state of Illinois and used the app in the state of Illinois to create videos before September 30, 2021.
Katrina Carroll, partner at Carlson Lynch, argued the case in Illinois Federal Court under the chairmanship of the Honorable Justice John Z. Lee. Carroll said, “In a world where social media apps track our locations, record our conversations, and surreptitiously record our preferences, we need to make sure that customers are aware of how their data is stored, used and sold to others. lucrative purposes. Our hope is that this regulation will draw attention to the need for consumers’ informed consent before their biometric data is collected and prompt other states to enact laws similar to those in Illinois. “
The Illinois sub-category recognizes that the state is one of the few in the United States to have enacted strong and supportive consumer protection laws through the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) . The BIPA requires that companies looking to collect biometric data must first obtain informed consent. In addition, BIPA provides for statutory damages.
Ekwan Rhow, Partner at Bird Marella, said that “this settlement is one of the most important ever in a consumer BIPA case, and one of the most important in a protection class action. of privacy ”. He continued, “It reminds businesses that privacy is important and that they will be held accountable for violating consumer rights.”
Illinois subclass members will receive six pro rata actions of the settlement fund in recognition of BIPA, while members of the national group will receive a pro rata part of the settlement. The value of those shares, or the amount of compensation to each Class Member, will be determined by the number of those who submit claims.
Once the claims have been submitted and the statements supporting or opposing the settlement received, the court will hold a final fairness hearing on May 18, 2022. For more information on the settlement or timelines, and to submit a Claim, TikTok and Musical .ly users should visit the Settlement website at www.tiktokdataprivacysettlement.com.
Consolidated cases are led by the court-appointed class attorneys including Elizabeth Fegan of FeganScott LLC, Katrina Carroll, Carlson Lynch LLP and Ekwan Rhow, Bird Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg & Rhow, PC
About FeganScott LLC:
FeganScott is a national class action law firm dedicated to helping victims of sexual abuse, discrimination, consumer fraud, antitrust violations and more. The firm is backed by acclaimed class actions and seasoned lawyers and has successfully recovered $ 1 billion for millions of victims nationwide. FeganScott is committed to seeking positive results with integrity and excellence, while holding unjust parties accountable. To learn more, visit www.feganscott.com.
About Carlson Lynch:
Founded in 2004, Carlson Lynch has gained a national reputation for complex litigation for plaintiffs in the areas of cybersecurity, anti-theft and consumer protection. The firm’s philosophy is to provide the same quality of representation to consumers and other individual plaintiffs that the country’s largest defense-focused law firms provide to their clients. The result is a rigorous yet sophisticated practice, advising diverse clients against some of the most aggressive legal teams in the country. Carlson Lynch has offices in Pittsburgh, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. www.carlsonlynch.com
About Bird Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg & Rhow, PC
Founded in 1981 and based in Los Angeles, Bird Marella is one of the leading litigation stores in the United States. The firm and its team of experienced litigators handle complex, high-stakes – and often high-profile – civil litigation for plaintiffs and defendants nationwide, as well as white-collar criminal litigation for businesses and corporations. individual defendants. The common theme in Bird Marella’s cases is not the underlying legal issues, but the sophistication of the challenge and the need for innovative and insightful representation throughout the trial. For more information, please visit www.birdmarella.com.
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