So an FTC ruling issued today will see video app TikTok fined $5.7 million for violating U.S. children’s privacy laws, and will impact how the app works for kids under the age of 13. An update of the app released today, was seen asking all users to verify their age, and anyone under 13 would be directed to a seperate and more restricted in-app experience.
I would say luck sure is not on thier side cause this ruling comes the same day TikTok began promoting its new safety series designed to help keep its community informed of its privacy and safety tools. According to the U.S. children’s privacy lawCOPPA, operators of apps and websites aimed at young users under the age of 13 can’t collect personal data like email addresses, IP addresses, geolocation information or other identifiers without parental consent.
FTC chairman “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,” with the COPPA law it would be sort of difficult for apps like tiktok. But some parents are caught off guard by these apps. The FTC says Musical.ly had fielded “thousands of complaints” from parents because their children under the age of 13 had created Musical.ly accounts.
FTC also settled with tiktok to include an agreement that will impact how the TikTok app operates. Instead of locking out under-13 users from the TikTok service, younger users will be directed to a different in-app experience that restricts TikTok from collecting the personal information prohibited by COPPA. Tiktok on the other hand have been complying by making signicant changes, it has now restricted under 13’s from posting to the app Instead, the under-13 crowd will only be able to like content and follow users. They will be able to create and save videos to their device — but not to the public TikTok network.
Nor can they share videos on the app with their friends if they use TikTok via a private account. The move at least puts TikTok on a level playing ground with other “mixed audience” apps instead of allowing it to pretend U.S. children’s privacy laws do not exist. The tiktok app has been installed 1 billion times by, downloaded more than 200 million times, with 65 million accounts registered in the United States.