TikTok will pay $5.7 million FTC fine for violating children's privacy

    In addition to the monetary payment, the settlement also requires the app's operators to comply with COPPA going forward and to take offline all videos made by children under the age of 13.

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    There is no doubt that video social networking app Musical.ly, now known as TikTok, has gained a lot of popularity all over the world but now the operators of networking app have agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) allegations that the company illegally collected personal information from children.

    TikTok will pay $5.7 million FTC fine for violating children's privacy

     

    The FTC's complaint, filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the Commission, alleges that Musical.ly violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires that websites and online services directed to children obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from children under the age of 13.

    "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.

    Simons said, "This record penalty should be a reminder to all online services and websites that target children: We take enforcement of COPPA very seriously, and we will not tolerate companies that flagrantly ignore the law."

    In addition to the monetary payment, the settlement also requires the app's operators to comply with COPPA going forward and to take offline all videos made by children under the age of 13.

    In fact, TikTok's trust and safety team issued a statement and said, "The new environment for younger users does not permit the sharing of personal information, and it puts extensive limitations on content and user interaction. Both current and new TikTok users will be directed to the age-appropriate app experience, beginning today."

    "We care deeply about the safety and privacy of our users. This is an ongoing commitment, and we are continuing to expand and evolve our protective measures in support of this. We're also working to bring our privacy and safety settings front and center for our users, such as in our Safety Center and in the video tutorial series we launched today in the TikTok app," the statement reads.

     

    For the unaware, this app allows users to create short videos lip-syncing to music and share those videos with other users and to register for the app, users need to provide an email address, phone number, username, first and last name, a short biography, and a profile picture.

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