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TikTok agrees to pay $5.7m to settle allegations of violating child privacy law

The app has to remove all videos of kids under 13

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 28, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Feb 28, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
TikTok agrees to pay $5.7m to settle allegations of violating child privacy law

The app has to remove all videos of kids under 13

Photo: AFP

Tiktok has agreed to pay $5.7 million in fines to the US Federal Trade Commission over alleged violation of the child privacy law.

The app violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) which requires websites to obtain consent of parents before collecting any personal data from children below the age of 13.

TikTok, previously known as Musical.ly, is an app that allows users to create videos where they can lip sync to music and share videos with other users on the app or post it on other social media platforms.

Related: Facebook to launch ‘clear history’ privacy tool later this year

According to the FTC’s complaint, the app asked for users’ personal information, such as their email address, phone number, first and last name, biography and profile picture.

Profiles were set to public by default, but users were provided the option to change their profile to private, in which case their profile picture and bio was still public and others could send them direct messages.

The FTC claims that adults have tried to contact underage children via the app. Another feature was added in October 2016, which allowed users to view profiles which were in a 50 mile radius of their location.

Related: Nowshera man files a complaint against social media app TikTok on PM Khan’s portal

The app’s operators would have to comply with COPPA in the future and remove all videos of children under 13, along with the monetary payment.

In 2011, the Disney-owned social gaming network Playdom was fined $3 million for similar violations.

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