TikTok Settles with FTC for $5.7 Million After Violating Child Protection Laws

cageymaru

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
19,840
TikTok, formerly Musical.ly, has agreed to pay a record $5.7 million fine to settle FTC allegations that it violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The company's app illegally collected personal information from children by failing to seek parental consent before allowing users to register with the service. Registration required users to provide their email address, phone number, username, first and last name, a short biography, and a profile picture. The company was well aware that many children were using the Musical.ly app. This is the largest civil penalty ever obtained by the Commission in a children's privacy case.

The app allowed users to create and share videos lip-syncing to music. Users viewed, commented, and direct messaged other users about their videos. User accounts were public by default, which meant that a child's profile bio, username, picture, and videos could be seen by other users. Even if users set their account to private, users' profile pictures and bios remained public, and users could still send them direct messages. Not only did adults attempt to contact children, the app included a feature that allowed users to view other users within a 50-mile radius of their location. Thousands of parents complained to the company that their children under the age of 13 made accounts, but the company failed to delete content; even when parents requested that it be removed. Commissioner Rohit Chopra and Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter issued a separate statement.

"The operators of Musical.ly--now known as TikTok--knew many children were using the app but they still failed to seek parental consent before collecting names, email addresses, and other personal information from users under the age of 13," said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. "This record penalty should be a reminder to all online services and websites that target children: We take enforcement of COPPA very seriously, and we will not tolerate companies that flagrantly ignore the law." In addition to the monetary payment, the settlement also requires the app's operators to comply with COPPA going forward and to take offline all videos made by children under the age of 13.
 

Lakados

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
2,027
$5.7M? That's it? That's a record? Make it $5.7 Billion then talk seriously about enforcement. Also jail the executives for 25-50 years.
I do IT security for education, so I know how valuable the data of those under 13 is to mostly bad people and 5.7m is not near enough so yeah 5.7B is more like a proper deterrent.
 

sfsuphysics

I don't get it
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
13,970
I do IT security for education, so I know how valuable the data of those under 13 is to mostly bad people and 5.7m is not near enough so yeah 5.7B is more like a proper deterrent.
Yeah but if you go too much you get a situation where a company declares bankruptcy, then opens again as another company
 

Wrecked Em

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
6,390
My under 13 kid and her friends use this app daily. I don't see the appeal at all, but she loves it.

I keep pretty close tabs on it, and it's pretty simple to keep it locked down to friends only. Personally I worry more about her browsing YouTube, than I do having her use this app.
 

Tengis

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
Messages
4,937
My under 13 kid and her friends use this app daily. I don't see the appeal at all, but she loves it.

I keep pretty close tabs on it, and it's pretty simple to keep it locked down to friends only. Personally I worry more about her browsing YouTube, than I do having her use this app.
LOL. TikTok was literally the center of a child sex/pornography ring that got shut down... that is likely why they changed their name because the old name was all over media for a while. The app is seemingly perused by old men and kids. Find any of the popular female TikTok users on Instagram and go look at all the old men commenting how they "wish they were younger" and how "sexy" the 14 year olds are.
 

PaulP

Gawd
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
776
I do IT security for education, so I know how valuable the data of those under 13 is to mostly bad people and 5.7m is not near enough so yeah 5.7B is more like a proper deterrent.
Why not 5.7 trillion? As long as you are going for a fine that will never be paid, you may as well go really big. I'm not saying that 5.7 million was the right amount either. Personally I would have set it in the 20 to 30 million range. That is a number that will hurt a company the size of TikTok, but is unlikely to be overturned by a judge or force the company into bankruptcy.
 

Lakados

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
2,027
Why not 5.7 trillion? As long as you are going for a fine that will never be paid, you may as well go really big. I'm not saying that 5.7 million was the right amount either. Personally I would have set it in the 20 to 30 million range. That is a number that will hurt a company the size of TikTok, but is unlikely to be overturned by a judge or force the company into bankruptcy.
The 5.7m will likely never be paid either, but yeah the numbers need to be significant but actually meaningful.
 

Darunion

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
4,011
LOL. TikTok was literally the center of a child sex/pornography ring that got shut down... that is likely why they changed their name because the old name was all over media for a while. The app is seemingly perused by old men and kids. Find any of the popular female TikTok users on Instagram and go look at all the old men commenting how they "wish they were younger" and how "sexy" the 14 year olds are.
That's right it was wasn't it? I thought when I saw tiktok it looked familiar. Wasn't it musically or something like that?
 

Annieka77

n00b
Joined
Mar 1, 2019
Messages
7
My under 13 kid and her friends use this app daily. I don't see the appeal at all, but she loves it.

I keep pretty close tabs on it, and it's pretty simple to keep it locked down to friends only. Personally I worry more about her browsing YouTube, than I do having her use this app.
My 11 year old does, too. Well, did. They locked her out today. Some of her friends (11-12) aren’t locked out. I used my email to set up the account, and also kept a close watch on her use. I was with her in some of the videos. I think Parental Consent should be required, but this seems like an overreach. I agree that YT contains more to be concerned about.
 

Annieka77

n00b
Joined
Mar 1, 2019
Messages
7
LOL. TikTok was literally the center of a child sex/pornography ring that got shut down... that is likely why they changed their name because the old name was all over media for a while. The app is seemingly perused by old men and kids. Find any of the popular female TikTok users on Instagram and go look at all the old men commenting how they "wish they were younger" and how "sexy" the 14 year olds are.
Tina? I doubt it.
 
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