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TikTok Hit With a €1.5bn Lawsuit Over Violating Children’s Privacy

Sun Jun 27 2021

Dutch NonProfit say’s TikTok has been collecting child data in the EU without permission or consent

The TikTok app has been threatened again by another NonProfit, this time in the Netherlands, with a €1.5bn lawsuit over alleged data privacy violations concerning EU children.

The NonProfit, known as Consumentenbond, working in conjunction with the Take Back Your Privacy Foundation, have alleged that the Chinese owners of TikTok have been closely monitoring more than a million Dutch children, collecting their personal data without permission to later better target them with individualised ads.

That data, the lawsuit alleges, includes videos, photos, profile info and location data. Information on what children are watching and favouriting is also been stored according to the suit.

 

Consumentenbond are concerned that this illegally collected data is being used to make TikTok billions in profits from targeted ad sales on the platform.

The lawsuit also accuses the Chinese app owner of transferring users personal data outside of the EU without appropriate security measures… In direct violation of GDPR.

 

As a consequence, Consumentenbond and the Take Back Your Privacy Foundation are seeking €1.5 billion in compensation from TikTok due to their neglect of children’s privacy.  On top of that, they’re also demanding TikTok delete all illegally gathered data and comply with all statutory regulations in the EU moving forward.

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The conduct of TikTok is pure exploitation. TikTok are earning hundreds of millions per year - largely thanks to young peoples' engagement - while neglecting privacy laws that prescribe additional protection for children. TikTok has turned children into a product.

Sandra Molenaar – Director, Consumentenbond

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Replying to the lawsuit via a press release, TikTok responded to say:

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We are committed to engage with external experts and organisations to make sure we're doing what we can to keep people on TikTok safe

TikTok Press release

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As cloudThing have reported in the past, this isn’t the first time TikTok have been in hot water over its collection of young user’s data.

Back in April, Anne Longfield, former children’s commissioner for the UK had to start legal proceedings on behalf of 3.5m UK and European children over the apps breach of protection rules for pretty much the exact same reason.

They were also fined back in 2019 to the tune of $5.7m by the US Federal Trade Commission for illegally collection the personal data of children aged 13 and under.

And back in February of this year they agreed to pay $92, is a settlement to US users of their app as part of a class action law suit over a failure to seek consent for the collection pf personal data in Illinois.

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Sun Jun 27 2021

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