ByteDance, parent company of popular video-sharing app TikTok, will pay a fine of $5.7 million by FTC to settle the allegations that TikTok violated the law related to the privacy of children, the Federal trade Commission announced on Wednesday.
In its filing the federal agency accuse the video-sharing app of not only being illegally collecting the private information of under age children but was also failed to get the parental approval for the user of age below 13 using the apps which is a statuary requirement of a federal law.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was introduced in 1998 aiming to protects children under 13 from harm on the internet which prohibit the companies from collecting their information without parental permission, and though TikTok denied use of its platform by the children of age under 13 but, without any doubts, there are many of such under age children who are still using the app.
The FTC’s current civil penalty is largest ever fine in cases related to children privacy and besides fine; TikTok will also remove the previously uploaded videos of children under the age of 13.
Almost every online service or social media network operating in the United States, mostly to avoid any afterward liabilities, asks the users to agree to the terms related to the use of their product by the children under the age of 13.
But Musicl.ly, now known as TikTok, allowed children under the age of 13 to use its app, even after launch of thousand of the complaints lodged by the parent intimating the company about creation of Musicl.ly account by their wards of age below 13, according to the complaint issued by the FTC.
TikTok has more than 500 million users worldwide, with 65 million accounts registered in the United States.
Current ruling will also be impacting on the industry having companies who are still in malpractices or are lax about the safety and privacy of the children.