Former England’s children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, has finally decided to file a legal challenge against TikTok, a popular video-sharing app, on behalf of millions of children in the European Union and the United Kingdom that have used the video-sharing app.
If the case goes through, each of the affected children could be awarded thousands of pounds as compensation.
And on its end, TikTok responded by saying that the case was without merit and that it was going to fight back.
“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.”
The sue by Anne Longfield comes a few months after a 12 years old girl from England sued TikTok for unlawful use of children’s data towards the end of 2020. At the time Longfield was waiting for the conclusion of a data protection case that had been filed against Google so that she could decide on whether to press ahead with suing TikTok.
Not the first time TikTok is being sued for incorrect handling of children’s data …
TikTok was fined $5.7 million in 2019 by the US Federal Trade Commission for how it handled children’s data.
In 2020, TikTok was also fined £123,000 by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) in South Korea for similar charges of mishandling of children’s data.
In February 2020, the Musical.ly app, an app that was later acquired by TikTok was also fined $5.7m in the United States for not protecting children’s data and allowing underage users to publish content.
Why TikTok was sued
According to the lawyers, TikTok takes the personal information of children including videos, phone numbers, exact locations as well as biometric data without first pre-warning them. There is also no consent as required by the law when such information is being collected. Also, the children and their parents do not know what is being done with the collected information.