TikTok and ByteDance are accused of illegally harvesting private information of European Children


Palak Arora 28/04/21 #copyright #patent #trademarks #infringement #intellectualproperty #IPR #IPRinfo #IPlaw #IPRrights #Trademarkclickcom #IP #entrepreneur #IPRBlog #IPBlog #TikTok #ByteDance #AnneLongfield #Covid19 #pandemic #UK #LondonHighCourt #privacy #safety #technology

TikTok is the most popular video app globally. Recently some people from Europe alleged that TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance illegally harvested the private information belonging to millions of European children. There are strong chances that they have to face a damage claim which would be worth billions of pounds (dollars). The case has been filed in London's High Court over these allegations.

Anne Longfield is leading the class action in the court. She is the former Children's Commissioner for England and also given the name as ‘litigation friend’ or is a public face of an anonymous child aged12-year-old girl. She said, “All the affected children can receive thousands of pounds each if the claim is successful. Parents and children have a right to know that private information, including phone numbers, physical location, and videos of their children are being illegally collected.”

Longfield made allegations that every single child that has used TikTok since the date of May 25, 2018, may have had their private personal information on the platform which was illegally collected by Chinese company ByteDance through TikTok. It also alleged that such an activity was done for benefiting some unknown third parties.

A TikTok representative said, “Privacy and safety are the company's top priorities and that we have robust policies, processes, and technologies in place to help in protecting all users, especially teenage users. We believe the claims lack merit and intend to vigorously defend the action.”

TikTok is one of the world's most popular apps and especially youngsters form the biggest number of its customers. It has a huge number of users throughout the nation and nearly100 a million users in Europe alone. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly helped it in cementing its success by forcing many children to stay at home.

But the claimants further alleged TikTok of violating the UK and European Union data protection laws by processing youngsters' data without taking adequate security measures to protect it, and even without the consent of guardians or legitimate interest. However, the case has been put on hold due to some reasons.

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