Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that a class action lawsuit was filed in London against TikTok because it was illegally collecting private information from millions of children. TikTok may face a damages of billions of U.S dollars. According to Anne Longfield, leader of this current suit and the former Children’s Commissioner for England, every child can receive thousands of dollars in compensation if they win the case. According to Longfield, since May 25, 2018, every child who used TikTok suffered TikTok’s illegal information collection. The information was provided to unknown third parties for consumption regardless of what privacy settings the children had on the app. The information includes phone numbers, physical location and videos. TikTok claimed these accusations are baseless. In 2019, TikTok was fined by the U.S. FTC for a total of US$5.7 million for illegal information collection from underaged users. The company is still seeking settlement of a privacy related suit in the United States. The class lawsuite indicated that TikTok collected information without transparency and without the guardian’s consent, violating British and European Union data protection laws. There are 3.5 million children impacted in Britain alone.
Source: NetEase, April 21, 2021