TikTok Faces Billions In Bills In London Child Privacy Proceedings

London — Very popular video app TikTok and its Chinese parent ByteDance have responded to dozens of allegations of illegally collecting personal data from millions of European children in the London High Court You may face a claim for damages worth £ 100 million.

Ann Longfield, a former English children’s commissioner of an anonymous 12-year-old girl who leads the class action proceedings, a so-called “friend of the proceedings” or the public face, said Wednesday, with thousands of pounds each for affected children He said he could receive it. The claim was successful.

Longfield said that all children who used TikTok after May 25, 2018 may have had personal information illegally collected through TikTok by ByteDance for the benefit of an unknown third party. Insisted.

“Parents and children have the right to know that personal information such as phone numbers, physical locations, and children’s videos are being collected illegally,” she published as a website detailing the case. I did.

A TikTok representative said privacy and safety are the company’s top priorities and that strong policies, processes and technologies are in place to protect all users, especially teenagers.

“We believe the claim has no merit and will actively defend the proceedings,” the representative said.

TikTok is one of the most popular apps in the world, especially among young people, with about 100 million users in Europe alone. The COVID-19 pandemic, which trapped many children in their homes, has helped to solidify their success.

However, with the advice of law firm Scott & Scott, plaintiffs say that TikTok processes youth data without appropriate security measures, transparency, parental consent, or legitimate interests in the United Kingdom and Europe. Claims to have violated Union data protection legislation.

The allegations require the company to remove the personal information of all children, and if successful, damages could amount to “billions of pounds”.

Such US-style “opt-out” data privacy class actions that automatically bind defined groups to proceedings unless an individual opts out are rare in the United Kingdom.

The proceedings were put on hold while waiting for the British Supreme Court to rule in a proceeding against Internet giant Google for illegally tracking iPhone users through third-party cookies in 2011 and 2012. ..

The case will be heard next week.

By Kirstin Ridley