TikTok Settles Its Child Privacy Class Action for $1.1 Million

TikTok Settles Its Child Privacy Class Action for $1.1 Million
  • Save

TikTok, the popular social media app, recently settled a class-action lawsuit brought against it by parents of users who felt that the company had violated child privacy laws. The plaintiffs in the case filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, accusing TikTok, its parent company ByteDance, and Musical.ly, which was the app that ByteDance bought in 2017 and rebranded as TikTok, of letting young minors create accounts for the app and use it without getting permission from parents. The suit also claimed that the companies collected sensitive data from these children without permission and ignored their complaints about these practices.

According to a new motion filed in the case, the parties agreed to a $1.1 million settlement, all of which was in cash. The quick resolution of the matter was due to the fact that the parties had been negotiating a settlement for months prior to the lawsuit actually being filed. Once the suit was filed, a single all-day mediation session between the two parties was all that was required to settle the case.

In response to the settlement, a spokesperson for TikTok issued the following statement: “TikTok is firmly committed to safeguarding the data of its users, especially our younger users. We were made aware of the allegations in the complaint some time ago and, although we disagree with much of what is alleged in the complaint, we have been working with the parties involved and are pleased to have come to a resolution of the issues.”

This is not the first time that TikTok has faced accusations of violating child privacy laws. In February of this year, the company settled charges from the FTC, which had accused the company of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The company reportedly paid $5.7 million, which was said to have been the largest civil penalty the FTC had ever levied for child privacy violations.

TikTok has been working to address these concerns and improve its privacy practices. In a blog post published earlier this year, the company outlined some of the changes it has made. For example, the company has introduced a new feature that allows parents to link their accounts with their children’s accounts and control various settings, such as who can see their child’s videos and who can send them messages. Additionally, TikTok has made changes to its data collection practices, including limiting the data it collects from minors and requiring parental consent for certain types of data collection.

Despite these efforts, TikTok’s privacy practices continue to come under scrutiny. Just last month, the company was fined €750,000 by the Dutch data protection authority for violating data protection laws. The authority found that TikTok did not provide adequate information to users, particularly children, about how their data was being collected and used.

In conclusion, the settlement of the class-action lawsuit brought against TikTok by parents of users who felt that the company had violated child privacy laws is a reminder of the importance of protecting children’s privacy in the digital age. While TikTok has taken steps to improve its privacy practices, the company and other social media platforms must continue to be vigilant in safeguarding the data of their users, particularly children.