TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly, allows users to self-clip to popular music videos and share clips with friends. The popular app has reportedly surpassedon iOS and Android.
The FTC claimed that the app's operators breached the Child Online Privacy Act (COPPA) by not seeking parental consent before collecting personal information about children under the age of 13. TikTok did not fail to erase this personal information when it received complaints from parents and their children, the FTC claimed.
"This record sentence should apply to all children's online services and websites: we take COPPA's enforcement very seriously and we will not tolerate companies that blatantly ignore the law," said Joe Simons, chairman of the FTC. in the release that this is the largest civil penalty ever issued by the Commission in a child rights case.
In connection with the settlement, TikTok said Wednesday it will direct younger users to "a limited, separate app experience that introduces additional security and privacy measures designed specifically for this audience." The younger version does not allow sharing of personal information, and places "substantial" restrictions on content and interactions, TikTok said.
TikTok today also launched a series of security videos designed to guide users through the app's community guidelines, privacy settings, and digital wellness tools.
As part of the settlement, the app must also comply with COPPA and record videos of children under the age of 13.