Tech News: TikTok in serious trouble again over alleged data collection.
The popular social media platform TikTok has come under renewed scrutiny in the UK as former Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield filed a legal complaint against the company for how it collects and uses children’s data. The application was filed by Longfield on behalf of millions of children in both the UK and the EU who have used the video sharing app, and if successful, the affected children could receive thousands of pounds from parent company ByteDance.
According to a new report from the BBC, the lawyers from The Scott and Scott Law Firm will argue that TikTok is collecting personal information from children, including their phone numbers, videos, exact location and biometric data without proper notices or legally required consent.
A spokesperson for TikTok has since responded to the complaint: “Privacy and security are top priorities for TikTok and we have strong policies, processes and technologies to protect all users and especially our teen users. We believe the claims are lacking. of merit and we intend to vigorously defend the action “.
Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has amassed over 800 million users worldwide and as a result, the video sharing app has been quite profitable for ByteDance with most of its revenue coming. from advertisers. The legal complaint against TikTok was filed on behalf of all children who have used the social network since May 2018, regardless of their privacy settings and regardless of whether they opened their accounts on the platform.
Although all social media platforms collect certain data about their users, Longfield told the BBC that it specifically targets TikTok due to its “excessive” data collection policy. He also believes that TikTok is “a data collection service subtly veiled like a social network” that has managed to mislead parents as to its true motives.
Longfield’s claim is not without foundation, however, as the company was fined $ 5.7 million by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2019 for mistreating children’s data. TikTok was also fined by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) in South Korea last year for the same reason.
We will have to wait and see what the results of the lawsuit will be, but if Longfield’s claim is successful, there will likely be new alerts and information on how TikTok collects data when you sign up for an account.