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TikTok users to receive compensation for app accessing personal data – here's how to apply

The Independent - Tech

A proposed $92 million settlement is pending following allegations that TikTok "violated federal and state law by collecting and using, without sufficient notice and consent … personal data in connection with their use of the TikTok - Make Your Day video-sharing application (and/or its predecessor app" TikTok denies the allegations, but on Monday put a settlement notice in the app directing users to a web page that explains how to submit their information for payment. TikTok introduced the privacy policy allowing it to collect "biometric identifiers and iometric information", including "faceprints and voiceprints", in 2019 – and could not specify which products, if any, required the addition of this data. Only a few states have biometric privacy laws – including Illinois, Washington, California, Texas and New York – and TikTok only requiring consent "where required by law" meant that users in other states would not necessarily have to be informed about the data collection, TechCrunch reported at the time. The federal lawsuit, USA Today reports, alleges that TikTok broke Illinois biometric privacy legislation, gathering facial and fingerprint scanning without consent.

TikTok says it has found nothing to suggest viral warnings of school violence are legitimate

The Independent - Tech

TikTok says it has found nothing to suggest that its users are promoting violence at schools, after viral warnings spread across the internet. In recent days, concern and a run of media alerts have suggested that TikTok users are encouraging others to commit violence at schools on Friday, 17 December. But TikTok said that it had found no evidence that such incitement was happening. Instead, it said it had found only videos discussing the rumour and advising others to stay safe. It warned that the wide proliferation of reports on the supposed trend could "end up inspiring real world harm".

TikTok is testing Twitter-like 'Repost' button to share videos among friends

The Independent - Tech

TikTok is testing a'Repost' button that would allow users to share videos made by other users to their friends. The button, which is not available across all of TikTok yet, is found in the Share menu where users send videos via texts or social media. In some instances, the Repost button is called "Recommended", as TikTok has not yet decided on what the trigger will be called. Unlike Twitter's retweet function, a reposted video does not show on a user's own TikTok feed; rather, it goes directly to friends' For You feeds. If a video is found through the Discover page or in a user's TikTok inbox, they will not see the Repost button.

TikTok update: Huge change to algorithm will change users' For You page

The Independent - Tech

TikTok is making a major change to its algorithm, focused on stopping its users falling into holes of particular content. The company will look to add more variation to the kinds of videos it shows in an attempt to make the experience of using it more diverse. The changes appear to be an attempt to stop users from finding themselves being recommended the same kinds of videos over and over, especially when those videos might be distressing or unhealthy. TikTok's algorithm is central to the way the app works. Users open up the app to see a "for you page" or FYP, where they are encouraged to keep scrolling through various recommended videos that are personally chosen through an algorithm.

Spotify launches new TikTok-style way of listening to music

The Independent - Tech

Spotify is working on a new way of listening to music in the style of TikTok. The new "Discover" tool is in testing and may not ever come to users. But for those that have it, it appears as a new icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. If users click on that, they can listen to music by swiping through their feed, in the same way that videos can be watched on TikTok. Users can interact with songs on there, such as liking them to listen to later, or visiting the album they came from.