TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, is being sued for allegedly violating children's privacy laws and collecting the data of young users through the video app, formerly called Musical.ly.
ByteDance acquired Musical.ly in 2017 and later renamed it TikTok, the hugely popular social video app. According to the December 3 complaint, ByteDance has collected data from Musical.ly users under the age of 13 without the express permission of their parents "since at least 2014," and has sold this information to third parties.
The Online Child Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prohibits social media companies from collecting data from children without their parents' express consent. Failure to do so would violate the law and expose the company to potential lawsuits from regulators such as the Federal Trade Commission.
"TikTok has some time ago been made aware of the allegations in the complaint, and although we agree with much of what is stated in the complaint, disagree, we have worked with the parties involved to find a solution to the problems, "said a TikTok spokesperson The Verge . "This resolution should be announced soon." ByteDance already had legal issues for breaching COPPA. Earlier this year, the FTC reached an agreement on $ 5.7 million of Musical.ly's COPPA violations. YouTube had already reached an agreement with the FTC on similar allegations in September, resulting in a fine of $ 1