TikTok to pay US $ 5.7 million for alleged violation of children’s privacy law

TikTok has experienced a meteoric rise in the social media world. The video-sharing app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, recently saw more than a billion downloads worldwide, in part thanks to its popularity with children and teens. However, TikTok will now pay the FTC $ 5.7 million to settle charges that the app collects the personal information of minors without their parents’ consent.

In one communicated released yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission claims that TikTok and its old app, Musical.ly, violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The law requires online services to obtain parental permission before collecting personal data from children under 13.

“The operators of Musical.ly, now known as TikTok, knew that many children were using the app, but they still did not seek parental consent.” FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in a press release.

The FTC also clarified that when registering, Musical.ly needed information such as their email address, phone number, first and last name, and a short bio, which were public by default. unless users pass their settings privately. Still, some of that information was still visible to all users and children could still be contacted via direct messages even if their profile was set to private, according to the complaint.

The TikTok team has answered indicating that she was working with the Federal Trade Commission and would take additional steps to protect the privacy of minors on their platform. The company claims to launch a new app, dividing users into “age-appropriate TikTok environments”. Severe limitations will be imposed on younger users. Those under 13 will no longer be allowed to “share their videos on TikTok, comment on other people’s videos, send messages to users or maintain a profile or subscribers”.

The company also released a “You’re in Control” video tutorial series, which guides users through privacy settings, community guidelines, and more.

What do you think of TikTok’s decision? Share your opinion in the comments.