There is no doubt that the video-sharing app TikTok has exploded in popularity recently. During the height of the pandemic, the app ranked as the third fastest-growing brand — only trailing Zoom and Peacock. Tap or click here for smart digital life hacks you won’t find on TikTok.
But the app has found itself in hot water several times. From allegations of COVID-19 misinformation to ISIS propaganda, the app was fined $5.7 million by the FTC in 2019.
Now, a class-action lawsuit against TikTok and its parent company ByteDance alleges the app collected and used personal data without users’ knowledge. Read on to see if you are entitled to compensation.
Here’s the backstory
Court documents show that a $92 million settlement is pending in the lawsuit. While TikTok denies the allegations, if approved, the settlement will be distributed to impacted users. The lawsuit was filed against both TikTok and the Musical.ly apps. So if you’ve used either, you may qualify.
If you live in Illinois, you could be entitled to more than others. A dedicated website has been set up to help those who are impacted.
You have five options available to you, each with its own deadlines:
- Submit a claim, for which the deadline is March 1, 2022
- Exclude yourself from the lawsuit, which must be done by Jan. 21, 2022
- Object to the settlement, which must be done in writing before Jan. 31, 2022
- Go to the court hearing to speak about the fairness of the settlement
- Do nothing, which will exclude you from bringing your own lawsuit against the company.
It must be stressed that the settlement is still pending. “The Court in charge of this case still has to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If it does, and after any appeals are resolved, benefits will be distributed to those who submit qualifying Claim Forms,” the documents state.
How to get your share of the TikTok settlement
If you think you should be included in the lawsuit, you must have used the TikTok app before Sept. 30, 2021. As far as the court documents show, that is the only criteria that U.S. citizens must fulfill.
Residents of Illinois fall into a separate subclass. The documents state that you can be included if you reside in the State of Illinois and used the App in the State of Illinois to create videos before Sept. 30, 2021.
To file a claim, go to the Submit a Claim section on the dedicated website and fill in the details. A parent of a minor can fill in the form on their behalf. You’ll need the notice ID and confirmation code if you were sent a personalized notice. You can complete a separate form if you haven’t received a notification.