TikTok faces Senate investigation over extensive biometric data collections
“The policy states that TikTok ‘may collect biometric IDs and biometric information’ from its users’ content, such as ‘faceprints and voiceprints,’ but does not provide any additional information on what constitutes a faceprint. or vocal,” the letter continues. “Furthermore, the policy contains few details about how the data is used and with whom it is shared.”
As kids and teens increasingly turn to online apps for entertainment and communication amid the pandemic, the text continues, and make up “more than 32% of active TikTok users,” there is a “amplified” need to ensure that consumers’ personal data is secure.
And “given the seriousness of this file”, the senators called on the head of TikTok to answer six questions and requests for information by Wednesday, August 25.
The first of these specific questions asks the former Goldman Sachs team member to define what constitutes a “faceprint” and a “voiceprint”, in addition to specifying how long the information will be retained and if it will be shared with third parties. “Please provide a list of all entities (including parent organizations) that have access to data collected by TikTok,” the senators also wrote.
At the time of this article’s publication, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew – formerly the CFO of Xiaomi Technology – did not appear to have publicly responded to the senators’ inquiry. In addition to this investigation, the aforementioned lawsuits over user data, and a child protection investigation by the European Union, TikTok remains embroiled in a patent infringement legal battle with rival video-sharing app Triller.