In the most recent development on various tech and social media platforms bringing changes to their user policies, its now Tikatok that has made updates in its policy in the USA, notifying users that the platform is likely to collect a variety of biometric information involving details like “faceprints and voiceprints”.
The Verge contacted the platform but did not receive a valid explanation of the kind of information that it will seek from its users and its purpose.
The changes were made on June 2 as per how TechCrunch observed.
The policy states:
“We may collect information about the images and audio that are a part of your User Content, such as identifying the objects and scenery that appear, the existence and location within an image of face and body features and attributes, the nature of the audio, and the text of the words spoken in your User Content. We may collect this information to enable special video effects, for content moderation, for demographic classification, for content and ad recommendations, and for other non-personally-identifying operations.“
The policies are presented in a manner that attracts the users with this idea of better results for them and ease of navigation in the app but it takes a lot to cause dismal for the researchers that realise how bad it is to give too much control to these platforms without relevant explanation of its benefits to the users.
As is often the case with privacy policies, there is a lot of conflation here between outcomes that users are probably fine with (for example, adding video effects) and outcomes that they may consider more invasive, for example, ad targeting and “demographic classification.” There is also a lot of general language used to cover any future updates TikTok may add to the platform.