In England, a lawsuit will be filed against TikTok’s parent company sometime in the coming months. A representation for children accuses the app of illegally abusing privacy.
TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance are therefore awaiting a lawsuit in London. The well-known video app is under discussion because it allegedly collected information from children illegally. The financial penalty that the Chinese company is now facing is running into the billions.
TikTok faces a lawsuit filed on behalf of millions of children in the UK and Europe over privacy concerns https://t.co/l28xUPWnzR
– Bloomberg (@business) April 21, 2021
Privacy of children
Anne Longfield is the spokesperson for the group of children and parents who are pursuing the lawsuit. She claims that of all children who have used TikTok since May 25, 2018, information may have been illegally obtained and passed on to unknown third parties.
Longfield indicates that the case has two main goals. First, affected children, or their parents, should receive thousands of pounds in damages. In addition, the prosecution is demanding that the Chinese tech company delete all personal information from children.
Today I’m launching a legal claim against @tiktok_uk on behalf of millions of children whose data was illegally taken and transferred to unknown third parties for profit. Learn more about our fight to protect children’s privacy @TikTokClaimUK for updates https://t.co/eSCxj4Jwql pic.twitter.com/LBvNHq7Oth
– Anne Longfield (@annelongfield) April 21, 2021
The case is a representative action, or class action, of all children have been victims of illegal data collection by TikTok. But in this case it is an opt-out lawsuit, in which the entire target group automatically participates, unless some of them refrain from doing so. “Parents and children have the right to know that private information such as telephone numbers, locations and videos of their children is being collected illegally,” Longfield told news agency Reuters.
A representative states that security and privacy are the top priorities for TikTok. He also indicates that the company uses several techniques to protect young users in particular. Still, the company is undergoing a lawsuit for violating the privacy rights of young people. However, as TikTok said, “We believe this accusation has no legal basis and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”
In January of this year, the Market Information Research Foundation (SOMI) argued that the British and Dutch authorities should intervene at TikTok. The age check, ticking a box that you are older than thirteen, was therefore already easy to circumvent at the time.
TikTok is one of the most popular apps worldwide, especially among young phone users. In Europe alone, the app has more than 100 million users. Especially in the past year, the app has grown strongly due to lockdowns and quarantines.
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