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Parents Urge Illinois Federal Court to Approve $1M Settlement against Tik-Tok

James Hatton | Legal Staff Writer

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Tik-Tok, the video-sharing social networking service that has taken youth by storm, recently was the target of a lawsuit alleging that it collected and shared personally identifiable information about children under the age of 13. On December 6, 2019, a proposed class of parents and children asked an Illinois federal court to approve a $1.1 million settlement to resolve alleged claims.

Tik-Tok is used to create short lip-sync comedy and talent videos. The app was launched in 2017 by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company founded in 2012. Recently, Tik-Tok has become one of the most popular applications on the market and was the most downloaded app in the United States in October 2018. In February 2019, Tik-Tok hit one billion downloads globally.

The Plaintiffs faced some backlash, when they acknowledged that the size of the settlement class couldn’t be accurately estimated, which could be as large as 6 million people. Users of the social networking service often included information such as their name, profile picture and age in their biographies.

Unsurprisingly, this is not the first time Tik-Tok has faced data-related claims. Last February, the Federal Trade Commission stated that the app would pay $5.7 million for illegally collecting children’s data from their profiles. Additionally, the networking service was served with another class action in November over alleged data sharing with the Chinese government.

The case is T.K., through her mother Sherri LeShore, et al. v. ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd. et al., case number 1:19-cv-07915 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

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