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China’s TikTok App Will Collect “Biometric” Data Including “Faceprints and Voiceprints” of Western Users.

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TikTok is now openly saying that, due to an update of its privacy policy, its app will be collecting “faceprints and voiceprints.”

The Chinese Communist Party-linked company was emboldened by the successful efforts in Washington, D.C. to resist President Trump’s attempts to ban the data-mining app in 2020.

The new forms of data can be collected from audio and images including scenery, faces, any objects that appear in an image, and the text of words in a person’s User Content.

The new policy does not stop there, however.  TikTok has also declared it will be collecting biometric data:

“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.”

What is key about this statement is that TikTok does not specify if the “US laws” are state or federal, and only a few US states have biometric privacy laws at all.  This means that, if TikTok only has to obtain consent where “required by law,” users in most US states could have their biometric data collected without being asked first.

TikTok would not provide any more details on its new policy, only saying that its aim with the updated privacy policy is to have more “transparency.”

TikTok has not yet explained further why or how it means to collect all this personal and biometric data, or how it will be obtaining consent from users to do so.


Catherine Salgado

Catherine Salgado is a double-major in Classical Languages and Theology and a former contributor to The National Pulse.