TikTok accused of violating consumer, child safety and privacy laws in Europe


New Delhi: The Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok has once again been accused of breaching users’ rights this time by the European consumer campaign group (BEUC). 

The Brussels-based BEUC issued a statement on Tuesday alleging that TiKTok’s “unfair” copyright policy and virtual coins should be probed and filed complaints to regulators.

Further, it reiterated its warning that the app fails to protect children and teenagers from harmful content or hidden advertising.

“TikTok’s marketing offers to companies who want to advertise on the app contributes to the proliferation of hidden marketing. Users are for instance triggered to participate in branded hashtag challenges where they are encouraged to create content of specific products. As popular influencers are often the starting point of such challenges the commercial intent is usually masked for users. TikTok is also potentially failing to conduct due diligence when it comes to protecting children from inappropriate content such as videos showing suggestive content which are just a few scrolls away,” the BEUC writes in a press release.

TikTok has already faced a regulatory intervention in Italy in response to child safety concerns — after reports of a death of a 10-year-old girl. As per local media the child had died due to asphyxiation after participating in a “black out” challenge on TikTok.

A recent EU-backed study also found that age checks on popular social media platforms are “basically ineffective” as they can be circumvented by children of all ages simply by lying about their age, TechCrunch reported.

ByteDance Ltd.’s copyright terms are unfair which gives the company an irrevocable right to use videos without payment, BEUC said.

The group also criticizes how TikTok sells coins for virtual gifts where the company has “an absolute right to modify the exchange rate between the coins and the gifts, potentially skewing the financial transaction in its own favor.

TikTok said in an email that it’s asked BEUC for a meeting to listen to its concerns, reported Bloomberg.


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