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TikTok Sued For Billions Over Use of Children's Data

Thursday April 22, 2021. 02:45 AM , from Slashdot
TikTok is facing a legal challenge from former children's commissioner for England Anne Longfield over how it collects and uses children's data. The BBC reports: The claim is being filed on behalf of millions of children in the UK and EU who have used the hugely popular video-sharing app. If successful, the children affected could each be owed thousands of pounds. TikTok said the case was without merit and it would fight it.

Lawyers will allege that TikTok takes children's personal information, including phone numbers, videos, exact location and biometric data, without sufficient warning, transparency or the necessary consent required by law, and without children or parents knowing what is being done with that information. The claim is being launched on behalf of all children who have used TikTok since 25 May 2018, regardless of whether they have an account or their privacy settings. Children not wishing to be represented can opt out. 'TikTok is a hugely popular social media platform that has helped children keep in touch with their friends during an incredibly difficult year,' says Ms. Longfield. 'However, behind the fun songs, dance challenges and lip-sync trends lies something far more sinister.'

She alleges the firm is 'a data collection service that is thinly veiled as a social network' which has 'deliberately and successfully deceived parents.' She added that those parents have a 'right to know' what private information is being collected via TikTok's 'shadowy data collection practices.'

In response, TikTok said: 'Privacy and safety are top priorities for TikTok and we have robust policies, processes and technologies in place to help protect all users, and our teenage users in particular. We believe the claims lack merit and intend to vigorously defend the action.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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