A 12-year-old girl in the UK has been granted anonymity to take legal action against video-sharing app TikTok for allegedly violating UK and European Union child privacy laws.
With support from Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England, the girl intends to go to court asserting—rightly or wrongly— that her privacy rights and those of others like her have been infringed in ways that call for a remedy,” London Judge Mark Warby said in a decision while granting her anonymity on Wednesday.
In response, TikTok released a statement saying: “Privacy and safety are top priorities for TikTok and we have robust policies, processes, and technologies in place to protect all users, and our younger users in particular.”
The child privacy concerns in the UK are similar to ones brought up against the wildly popular app in the US.
This is not the first time TikTok has had child privacy issues, in 2019, TikTok agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle allegations that it obtained personal information from children under 13-years-old without parental consent. As part of the settlement, TikTok agreed to remove content from creators under 13 already on the app and block any underage posts in the future.
Earlier in 2020, consumer groups including the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy followed up with TikTok. The groups said the app had failed to live up to the 2019 agreements by continuing to violate COPPA in an Federal Trade Commission complaint.
The app’s terms and conditions state the service is not available to under-13s and all users are asked their age when signing up.
It actively reviews and removes accounts that appear to be used by under-13s.