TikTok to Face Privacy Lawsuit Over Deceptive Web Tracking Practices

TikTok is set to confront a privacy lawsuit, as a federal judge has given the green light to the case, claiming that the platform unlawfully tracked internet users on third-party sites such as Hulu, Etsy, and others. In a recent ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Blumenfeld, Jr., it was highlighted that if the allegations prove true, TikTok may have violated California's privacy standards.

The lawsuit emerged as a class-action complaint initiated by California resident Bernadine Griffith in June. Griffith accused TikTok's pixel, a tool used by web publishers to gather web behaviors, of compiling information on internet users, even those without TikTok accounts.

The complaint alleged violations of California's privacy rights and intrusion upon seclusion, with some claims drawing on a 2022 Consumer Reports investigation. The report found TikTok collaborating with various companies to collect data across the internet.

Griffith, a non-TikTok user, claimed that TikTok "secretly intercepted and collected" her online data from online platforms, even when users attempted to block third-party cookies. TikTok argues it simply follows the basic internet practices when it comes to data collection.

While some claims were dismissed, Blumenfeld allowed the bulk of the lawsuit to proceed, noting that similar privacy lawsuits against Meta and Google had been permitted by other California judges.

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