In February 2019, TikTok paid $5.7m as part of a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission following a child-privacy investigation dating back to the Musical·ly app (not us!) that TikTok merged with in 2018.
Besides paying the $5.7m, TikTok promised to make changes that would ensure children’s personal information was not being shared, alongside other protections for its younger users.
15 months on, though, and TikTok is under fire again in the US from a group of child-privacy organisations, who have filed a complaint to the FTC claiming that the app is still breaching the US’ strict ‘COPPA’ child-privacy laws.
You can read the full complaint here: among its allegations are that TikTok “has not destroyed all personal information collected from users under age 13”; that it “has not obtained parental consent for these accounts”; and that its ‘age gate’ for children can easily be got around by kids if they re-register using a false age. We’ll report on TikTok’s response as and when we get it.