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TikTok fined in U.S. for illegally gathering children’s data

TikTok has about 500 million users worldwide   | Photo Credit: AP

The fast-growing, Chinese-owned video sharing network TikTok agreed to pay a $5.7 million fine to U.S. authorities to settle charges that it illegally collected personal information from children, officials said.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said the penalty by the social network was the largest ever in a children’s privacy investigation.

The social network, which has been surging in popularity with young smartphone users and taking over from rivals like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, failed to obtain parental consent from its underage users as required by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, FTC officials said.

No parental consent

“The operators of Musical.ly — now known as TikTok — knew many children were using the app, but they still failed to seek parental consent before collecting names, email addresses, and other personal information from users under the age of 13,” said FTC chairman Joe Simons. “This record penalty should be a reminder to all online services and websites that target children.”

According to the FTC, the company required users to provide an email address, phone number, user name, first and last name, a short biography, and a profile picture.

Officials said the company knew that many of its users were under 13 and should have taken greater precautions.

TikTok said in a statement it would create a “separate app experience” for younger users with additional privacy protections as part of its agreement with regulators.


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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 5:55:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/tiktok-fined-in-us-for-illegally-gathering-childrens-data/article26400620.ece

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