A former children’s commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has lodged a claim in the high court on behalf of millions of children in the UK and the European Economic Area who have used TikTok since 25 March 2018.
According to some media reports, Longfield alleges the app is breaching UK and EU children’s data protection law and aims to stop it processing the information of millions of children, make it delete all such existing data and pay compensation she believes could run into billions of pounds.
Despite a minimum age requirement of 13, the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom found last year that 42 per cent of eight to 12-year-olds in the UK used TikTok the report said.
As with other social media companies such as Facebook, there have long been concerns about data collection and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating TikTok’s handling of children’s personal information, it added.
The legal claim alleges that TikTok takes children’s personal information without sufficient warning, transparency or the necessary consent required by law and without parents and children knowing what is being done with their private information.
Lingfield believes more than 3.5 million children in the UK alone could have been affected.