TikTok settles lawsuit over COPPA compliance

Popular isn’t always safe!

TikTok is a popular app for making short video clips with effects, especially music. In some ways it resembles Snapchat.

Filed December 3rd and settled December 5th, the class action lawsuit against TikTok alleged that the app “tracked, collected, and disclosed the personally identifiable information and/or viewing data of children under the age of 13β€” without parental consent”. We can only surmise why the $1.1 million settlement would be reached so fast.

There is a real draw for kids to use this kind of social media app. Growing up with touchscreen devices all around them, children rarely need any directions to start using a new app, and when one of their friends is using an app, they don’t want to be out of the loop.

COPPA or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act is a rule created in 1998 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It puts protections in place for minors under the age of 13 that make it illegal for websites and software applications to collect sensitive information about younger visitors and users such as first and last name, home address, telephone number, or any images or other media that include the child.

The settlement serves as a reminder of how important it is that we be prudent when we choose the online platforms our children use.