FTC Slams TikTok With Record Fine For Spying on Pre-Teens

ftc tiktok record fine spying pre teens

Hit Or Miss

TikTok, the video-sharing social media app that works like a cursed reincarnation of Vine, just got slapped with a $5.7 million fine for collecting personal information about its pre-teen users.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on Wednesday that TikTok agreed to the settlement after allegations that the app knowingly and illegally stored the names, email addresses, and locations of users under the age of 13. The FTC’s fine is the largest to ever be imposed for a violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), according to the FTC’s statement — and a heartening sign that regulators are unwilling to cede privacy protections for young internet users.

Parental Consent

Part of the reason for the severe fine might be because TikTok received thousands of complaints from concerned parents without changing its business practices.

“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,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons in the announcement.

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