On March 25, 2022, the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered an order granting final approval to the class action settlement between ByteDance Technology Co., Ltd, Musical.ly Inc. (now called Tik Tok) and the parents and guardians of children whose personal information was collected by Musical.ly without the adults’ consent. The complaint followed a $5.7 million settlement between Musical.ly and the FTC based on allegations that the company’s practices violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The plaintiffs sought declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief, claiming on behalf of their children that the company had violated the Video Privacy Protection Act, the right to protection from intrusion upon seclusion, the right to privacy under Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution, the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
The settlement requires the creation of a non-reversionary cash settlement fund of $1.1 million. The court granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement December 2019, but denied the parties’ motion for final approval in March 2020 on the grounds that the notice given to the proposed settlement class did not satisfy the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Now, with the notice deficiencies corrected, and satisfaction of Rule 23(a)’s requirements of numerosity, commonality, typicality and adequacy, along with the 7th Circuit’s requirement that the class be identifiable, the court granted final approval of the settlement, and certification of the settlement class, defined as “all persons residing in the United States who registered for or used the Musical/.ly and/or Tik Tok software application prior to the Effective Date when under the age of 13 and their parents and/or legal guardians.”