A federal judge in Illinois has granted final approval for a $92 million class-action lawsuit settlement between the social media network TikTok and users of the platform, with Illinois residents set to receive the largest share of the payout.
According to a press release, the lawsuit was filed over claims that the video-sharing app violated both federal law and Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, with the site allegedly collecting biometric data from users and then disclosing it to third-party companies without the consent of those affected.
“In this class action suit, we alleged that TikTok’s technological sophistication enabled them to collect billions of user attributes, ranging from eye color to people’s facial expressions and physical gestures and use that data without disclosure to the consumers," Elizabeth Fegan, co-lead counsel representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
The settlement will create a $92 million fund to be distributed among class members. Here’s what we know about the settlement payments.
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Who is Eligible for Payments?
According to lawyers, TikTok users who created videos prior to Sept. 30, 2021 were eligible to be part of the class-action suit.
Two separate classes of plaintiffs were created, with one comprised of nationwide users and a second class comprised solely of Illinois-based users.
Can I Still Join the Class-Action Suit?
Deadlines for the lawsuit have already passed, according to lawyers. Individuals who wanted to file a claim form to be part of the class-action suit were required to do so by March 1, 2022.
Individuals who sought to exclude themselves from the suit were required to make that known by Jan. 31.
How Will Payments be Distributed?
According to the law firm that filed the suit, those individuals who filed to be part of the class-action suit will receive payments electronically, unless they opted for an alternative form of payment.
No official date for payments has yet been announced.
Why Are Illinois Residents in a Separate Class?
The reason Illinois residents were part of a separate class in the suit is because of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, which imposes strict limits on the way companies can use and share biometric information.
As a result of that law, Illinois residents who are part of the class-action suit will receive the same share as other United States residents, but will also receive five additional shares apiece, effectively increasing their payout.
The official number of participants in the class-action suit has not yet been announced, and therefore it is not known how big a settlement payout Illinois residents can expect.