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Tiktok to Face Massive Lawsuit over Collecting Data on Millions of Children
By Staff, Agencies
TikTok, a massively popular social network app focused on short videos and owned by Chinese company ByteDance, could face a class-action lawsuit on behalf of millions of children over its data collection practices.
Spearheading the charge is Anne Longfield, the ex-Children's Commissioner for England, with the lawsuit representing the UK and EU children who had used the app since May 25, 2018.
Longfield accuses the company of illegally collecting troves of data on the children since that date and using their personal information to the benefit of third parties.
The data collection was allegedly being done without the consent from or knowledge of the children's parents.
The BBC cited the ex-official as saying the app operates as "a data collection service that is thinly veiled as a social network," adding that the company deliberately deceived the parents.
TikTok itself denies any wrongdoing, claiming that it puts a lot of emphasis on privacy, and lashes out at the case as lacking any "merit."
According to the plaintiff side, if successful, the class-action suit could result in a compensation of thousands of pounds to every child being represented, which would propel its total price tag into billions.
TikTok has a user base of about 800 million globally and is especially popular among youths. The app had seen its fair share of controversies, including allegations of links with the Chinese government, deadly viral challenges and accusations of enabling anti-Semitism.
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