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TikTok’s New Policy Change! Do You Know About It?

TikTok New Policy Change

The latest change to TikTok’s privacy policy gives you permission to obtain biometric information and user identifiers, including data about-face and voice; at the moment, the change has only been found in the terms for US users.

The popularity of TikTok among young people has been accompanied by more than one controversy related to privacy and the way it handles data. Owned by the Chinese company Bytedance, this week the western version of the app has received an important change that has gone unnoticed by most because it was not officially announced despite the importance of the changes.

Since last Wednesday, TikTok has granted itself the right to collect more information about users, with an update in the privacy policy that is mandatory just by using the app, and that the vast majority of people do not read. It was only discovered this Friday when the American media Techcrunch made it public.

A change big enough!

The big change is a new section that explains how TikTok will be able to collect biometric information, related to the user’s body, even that which can identify them. This data will be obtained directly from the content that the user himself uploads to the social network, such as short videos that constantly go viral. The collection process is automatic and by algorithms that will analyze the video in search of identifying data.

Among the data obtained in this way is information about the faces and voices of the users; in addition, it will also be able to identify the objects and the scene in which the users appear, and the “existence and location” of human bodies. In other words, the TikTok algorithms will be able to analyze and understand the video and record everything that happens and who appears.

More concerning is that TikTok has granted itself these powers without explaining what it wants them for. These data would have very interesting uses, such as algorithms capable of explaining videos for people with visual disabilities; Social networks such as Facebook can also identify the people who appear in the photos to automatically tag them, but that function had to be modified in the EU with the arrival of the new data protection regulation (GDPR).

That is also probably the reason why this new privacy policy has not been implemented in Europe yet, as the GDPR and the privacy laws of each country impose more restrictions on automated facial identification. At the moment, TikTok has not explained the purpose of the data obtained, what privacy considerations it has taken into account, or if it registers the faces of minors, its general public.

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