TikTok is facing a lawsuit in the UK over the names of millions of children

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TikTok is facing a lawsuit in London filed on behalf of millions of children in the UK and Europe over privacy concerns.

The costume blames the popular video app and its parent company ByteDance breach of data protection laws in the UK and the European Union. The suit tries to stop TikTok from “illegal processing of information about millions of children” and demands that all personal information be deleted, the group behind the case said in a statement on Wednesday.

Any child who uses the app from May 2018, regardless of their account status or privacy settings, may have received their personal information for the benefit of unknown third parties, according to a lawsuit filed by Ann Longfield, a former children’s commissioner. in England.

The case follows enhanced control of the application by several EU data control authorities. Last year, EU data protection regulators pledged to co-ordinate the Chinese company’s potential investigations by setting up a working group to better understand TikTok’s processing and practices.

In the US, Bytedance was fined $ 5.7 million (43 crores) in 2019 by Federal Trade Commission to settle allegations that, which ByteDance bought and renamed TikTok, had illegally collected information from minors. This was the FTC’s biggest penalty in a children’s privacy case.

The company is also seeking permission to settle a privacy lawsuit in the United States.

TikTok said the lawsuits in the London case were “unfounded” and that the company would vigorously defend the action.

“Privacy and safety are top priorities for TikTok,” the company said in a statement. “We have strong policies, processes and technologies that help protect all consumers, and in particular our adolescents.”

The lawsuit was filed in December, but details were not released until Wednesday. If the case is successful, children can receive compensation of thousands of pounds. The applicants estimate that more than 3.5 million children are affected in the United Kingdom alone, which means a potentially solid bill for the application if it loses.

“There’s something much more sinister behind the fun songs, dance challenges and lip-syncing trends,” Longfield said in an email. “TikTok is a data collection service that is thinly shrouded as a social network.”

Last year, a London judge granted anonymity to a 12-year-old girl in the case to avoid receiving online harassment from other users of the app. She is the lead plaintiff in a case that has been suspended pending a Supreme Court ruling in a similar case against Google.

© 2021 Bloomberg LP

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