TikTok has been accused of flouting its agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to protect the privacy of children on their platform.
The video-focused application reached a settlement last year with the FTC after the owner company admitted to hoarding minor users’ data and breaking the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). However, it looks like the Chinese company could not comply with the set of rules for long.
Twenty advocacy groups have accused TikTok of violating child privacy regulations in the US and hoovering up minors’ data in multiple complaints. The complain was filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by a group of 20 consumer and child advocacy groups on Thursday.
According to the complaint, TikTok has not deleted the data as promised. It details:
We found that TikTok currently has many regular account holders who are under age 13, and many of them still have videos of themselves that were uploaded as far back as 2016, years prior to the consent decree.
They also allege:
TikTok has not obtained parental consent for these accounts. Contrary to the terms of the consent decree, TikTok fails to make reasonable efforts to ensure that a parent of a child receives direct notice of its practices regarding the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information.
The group has asked the FTC to launch an investigation into TikTok and impose penalties to ensure the children’s privacy is protected.
In other news, a class-action lawsuit was also filed against the Chinese company in a Chicago court on Wednesday. The main claimant is a minor who has accused the app of collecting biometric data using facial scanning and recognition.
In response, a TikTok spokesperson told the media:
We take privacy seriously and are committed to helping ensure that TikTok continues to be a safe and entertaining community for our users.