June 2, 2020

A Coalition of 20 Privacy, Child Advocacy, and Consumer Groups Urge FTC to Investigate TikTok

From the Center For Digital Democracy:

Today, a coalition of leading U.S. child advocacy, consumer, and privacy groups filed a complaint urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate and sanction TikTok for putting kids at risk by continuing to violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

In February 2019, TikTok paid a $5.7 million fine for violating COPPA, including illegally collecting personal information from children.  But more than a year later, with quarantined kids and families flocking to the site in record numbers, TikTok has failed to delete personal information previously collected from children and is still collecting kids’ personal information without notice to and consent of parents.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), and a total of 20 organizations demonstrated in their FTC filing that TikTok continues to violate COPPA by:

  • failing to delete personal information related to children under 13 it obtained prior to the 2019 settlement order;
  • failing to give direct notice to parents and to obtain parents’ consent before collecting kids’ personal information; and
  • failing to give parents the right to review or delete their children’s personal information collected by TikTok.

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Groups signing on to the complaint to the FTC are: Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the Center for Digital Democracy, Badass Teachers Association,

Berkeley Media Studies Group, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Reports, Defending the Early Years, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Media Education Foundation, Obligation, Inc., Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, Parents Across America, ParentsTogether Foundation, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Public Citizen, The Story of Stuff, United Church of Christ, and USPIRG.

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

Direct to Full Text Text of Complaint Filed with FTC
56 pages; PDF.

See Also: Largest FTC COPPA Settlement Requires Musical.ly to Change its Tune (via FTC; February 27, 2019)
TikTok was formerly known at Musical.ly.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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