Critic Groups States That TikTok Broke Its Promises To Protect Kids Better

According to a critic group of 20 advocacy groups, TikTok has not been keeping its promises to better protect children using the TikTok app. The company made an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it will take steps to better protect children using the TikTok app, but the critic groups say that the company has not lived up to its agreement.

A coalition of twenty children’s groups led by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood led spotted various alleged problems with the TikTok app in a new Federal Trade Commission complaint. The problems included issues with the app verifying the user’s age. Executive Director of The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, Josh Grolin told the NY Times that TikTok is entangling probably millions of users who are underage children in the TikTok’s marketing apparatus. He said that it is putting those millions of children at a sexual predation risk. Josh Grolin also stated that the Federal Trade Commission has caught TikTok red-handed, yet the company continues to defy the law.

Last year, TikTok agreed to make significant changes to its app in order to settle charges that the company had violated the federal Online Privacy Protection Act for Children, and regulators imposed a record fine of $5.7 million on the company. TikTok stated that the company would remove videos and personal information from its platform which were uploaded by users the app knew was younger than 13 years. The video-sharing application announced to delete those videos to settle the investigation, and also stated that it would delete videos other personal information of TikTok users whose ages were not known to its platform.

According to the critic groups, TikTok has not yet removed all types of those videos from its app which shows that TikTok is still violating the laws. Additionally, TikTok also agreed that it would collect the permission of parents before taking any personal information from a child. These issues stretch back to when, one of the predecessor companies of TikTok, was found to be violating the federal Online Privacy Protection Act for Children.

TikTok is one of the most significant and widely used apps across the world. The app has approximately 800 million monthly users worldwide, and its usage has surged during the lockdowns. TikTok was the most downloaded application during the first quarter of this year. The coronavirus outbreak forced lockdowns across the globe which resulted in millions of people to practice social distancing. The masses were bored out, and millions of new users flooded onto the TikTok app during the coronavirus forced lockdowns.

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