JAKARTA – Operator TikTok, previously known as Musical.ly, had to pay 5.7 million US dollars, or around Rp80 billion, to settle complaints from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that the social network had collected personal information from children without consent her parents.
This is the biggest fine ever imposed by the FTC, due to violations of children’s privacy, said Consumer Reports in a report, quoted on Saturday (03/02/2019).
In addition, the TikTok operator has agreed to comply with federal privacy laws in the future and make offline any videos made by children under the age of 13.
“The settlement explains that businesses that gather information from children must place parents in the driver’s seat,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC Consumer Protection Bureau, at a conference call with reporters.
“It’s not enough to just say that your service is intended for children over the age of 13,” he said.
TikTok, which is owned by China ByteDance technology company, allows users to create short lip-sync videos and post on their network.
Users can also interact with each other; comment on and like videos or communicate via direct messages.
This is one of the most downloaded applications in the world, occupying the top position in Google’s Apple and Play Store App Store rankings.
Operator TikTok said in a statement on Wednesday (02/27/2019) that they made changes to accommodate young US users with a separate application featuring additional safety and privacy protection.
Going forward, younger users will be able to see videos in the application, as well as create and save their own videos to electronic devices, the operator said, but they will not be able to share the video via the application.
All users — new and existing — will be directed to the application according to their age immediately.
The FTC fined this application, formerly known as Musical.ly before being taken over by ByteDance in 2017, because it had collected data on names, e-mail addresses and other personal information from children under the age of 13.