ByteDance, the parent company of popular video-sharing platform TikTok, is now facing a proposed class-action lawsuit over its video editing app CapCut.
The lawsuit, filed on July 28, alleges that CapCut has violated Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting sensitive user information, including face and voice biometrics, without obtaining proper consent. Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that CapCut fails to provide the required disclosures mandated by BIPA.
Unlike many other lawsuits under BIPA, this legal action goes beyond the usual privacy concerns. The complaint notes that as ByteDance is headquartered in China, the company may be obligated to share sensitive user data with the Chinese Communist Party, raising potential security and privacy issues.
CapCut collects various user data, including photos, videos, location, gender, and date of birth, which is then used to fuel targeted advertising. The suit also accuses ByteDance developers of incorporating the ability to collect technical information from users’ devices, such as MAC addresses, IMEI identification, and SIM serial numbers.
The complaint seeks to ban ByteDance from sending CapCut user data to China, as well as to prohibit the harvesting of biometric data without proper notice and consent. It also demands the deletion of any unlawfully obtained user data and content.
This lawsuit adds to the ongoing scrutiny faced by ByteDance over its handling of user data in its various applications. With TikTok being previously accused of potential data privacy risks, ByteDance’s privacy practices have been under the spotlight, leading to bans in certain regions and investigations by authorities.
August 2, 2023 – by the FindBiometrics Editorial Team