Home Social TikTok has only expanded to collect data from your face and voice

TikTok has only expanded to collect data from your face and voice

by George Mensah

This week an update to TikTok’s privacy policy made it technically legal for you and your activities to be collected in the app automatically. This update contains notes on biometrics, such as fingerprint scanners and “voiceprints.” In the notes, TikTok says that they will look for “any necessary permissions” to obtain this data, but only “if required by law.”

TikTok just expanded ways they can collect data on your face and voice

As TechCrunch has shown, you will find changes to “Image and Audio Information” in the latest US privacy policy version for TikTok. View this change from 4 June 2021 onwards in the Wayback Machine. Scroll to “We automatically collect information and compare the information we published on 30 May 2021.

A phrase from this field is as follows: “We will also use your email, telephone number, or similar information to connect your subscriber information with your activities on our platform across all your devices.” That could be good – perhaps TikTok decided to track users slightly less than before – or at least it looks like that when you notice that it is the ONLY change. The rest seems to be moving the other way around.

TikTok also added a note, as stated above, on how “biometric data and biometric data may be collected.” It may include “User Content” face-prints and voice prints.

They also added a broader description of how information can be collected from devices that you use for TikTok access. Previously IP addresses, single device identifiers, model, mobile carrier, time zone, display resolution, OS, names of applications, name of files, file types, keystrokes or rhythms, and platform were included.

TikTok now also includes user agent, network type, ‘advertising identification’ device IDs, battery condition, audio settings and connected audio devices. They have expanded their capacity to gather information across devices, so that they can “use the profile information to identify your activity across devices” whenever you connect to multiple devices.

TikTok notes in their policy that this data may be collected to enable the following:
• Special video effects
• Content moderation
• Demographic classification
• Content recommendations
• Advertising recommendations
• Non-personally-identifying operations

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In addition, TikTok can now use “info on devices other than those which you use to log in to the Platform.” This effectively enables them to use audio from smartphone-connected devices, e.g. connected microphones, intelligent speakers, etc.

Wrapping up

Why should you care about expanding TikTok’s ways of collecting information based on your smartphone activities while using TikTok? You probably won’t care about this latest update if you know that TikTok has been just as guilty as any other social network of user data collection when you use this app. If, however, it’s a good time to reconsider your application and networking when you think TikTok is far more private than Facebook, Instagram or other apps like these.

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