Despite facing several issues in the past concerning the security of users’ data and getting banned in India, which had the largest number of TikTok users, the company continues to grow in 2020. People are maniacally addicted to the video-sharing application that they have forgotten the world outside it. A piece of news rolled stated that a 12-year-old girl in England claimed TikTok to be a company that uses children’s personal data against the law. The little girl plans to take strict legal action against the video-sharing company and take the case to court, which is supported by England’s children commissioner, Anne Longfield. According to her, the company has broken data protection laws of the UK and EU. The court has said that the girl’s identity can remain anonymous if her case proceeds further.
On the other hand, TikTok states that it has “robust policies” for children and does not allow users under 13s to join the platform. Ms. Longfield believes that the case will result in enhanced protective policies for the under-16s TikTok users in England and other countries as well. The commissioner thinks that the TikTok app deliberately collects and processes the data of children in order to power the video recommendation algorithm. This is done to catch the attention of the users and generate more and more advertising revenue. Ms. Longfield, through a video link, told the High Court in London to force the company to delete the child’s data as soon as possible.
However, what the preliminary hearing focused more on was the little girl’s identity. Mr. Justice Warby expects that the girl could potentially be cyber-bullied by other children as well as the TikTok users if her identity is disclosed. Ms. Longfield is currently awaiting the final verdict of Google’s data protection case before taking a decision against TikTok.
Back in 2019, the video-sharing company, TikTok for its poor handling of children’s data was fined nearly $5.7 million by the US Federal Trade Commission.