If you or your minor children have used the TikTok or Musical.ly apps, you could be entitled to money from a class-action lawsuit settlement.
According to court documents, a proposed $92 million settlement is pending in the TikTok, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, a lawsuit that alleges the company "violated federal and state law by collecting and using" personal data "in connection with their use of the TikTok—Make Your Day video-sharing application" and its predecessor app Musical.ly.
TikTok denies the allegations, according to documents and the settlement with Chinese parent company ByteDance was reached back in late February. But on Monday, TikTok put out a settlement notice in the app, directing users to Tiktokdataprivacysettlement.com.
TikTok features short videos, known for their lighthearted feel. The app has become a favorite of young people, especially Generation Z. According to a Pew Research Center study from April, about 48% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use TikTok.
In September, TikTok announced it had 1 billion users globally. The app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has seen its share of controversy and recently came under criticism for its effect on teenage girls' body image.
The federal lawsuit alleged that TikTok broke the Illinois biometric privacy law, which allows suits against companies that harvest consumer data without consent, including via facial and fingerprint scanning. Illinois is the only state with a law that allows people to seek monetary damages for such unauthorized data collection.
TikTok settlement: How to claim
To be eligible to receive money, you need to have been using the app by Sept. 30 and need to submit a claim form by March 1, 2022, court documents show. Parents can submit claims for minors.
For those who live in Illinois and have used TikTok to create videos, you may be entitled to six times the payment, documents show.
The forms can be submitted at Tiktokdataprivacysettlement.com or can be printed and mailed in.
The settlement offers four different ways to get the settlement:
— PayPal, which requires your PayPal email address.
— Venmo for which you need to include the mobile number associated with your Venmo account.
— A virtual prepaid card.
— Or you can choose to get a physical check mailed to the address you provide.
TikTok lawsuit deadlines
Jan. 31: Deadline to object and tell the court you don't like the settlement and last day to be excluded from the settlement, which means you'll get no benefits.
March 1: Last day to submit a claim to receive a payment. If the court approves the settlement and it becomes final and effective, "you will receive your payment by electronic means (unless you opt for an alternative form of payment)."
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