This is a case that TikTok would have done well. In the Netherlands, the SOMI Foundation, an NGO defending consumers and minors on the Internet, has decided to sue the social network. It has already embarked 64,000 Dutch parents accusing the Chinese company of negligence in protecting the privacy and safety of their children.
In particular, SOMI assures that TikTok does not respect the laws of the European Union and in particular those that prohibit targeted advertising for children. It also believes that the application does not ask users for permission to use their data and does not specify the purpose of collecting that information. The foundation announced that the company will not meet the legal requirements for securing this data.
TikTok says it needs “industry-leading” protections
Finally, it highlights the online challenges of some teenagers and TikTok wouldn’t do enough to “keep kids safe from this harmful content”. To remedy the situation, the SOMI Foundation claims it “sent letters of complaint to TikTok and several European regulators over the past year, but we haven’t seen any significant results”. For this reason, we decided not to wait for the authorities to investigate and take legal action themselves. “
When asked directly, TikTok did not fail to respond to the Dutch media RTL Nieuws. A company spokesman said, among other things, that privacy and user safety were among the company’s “top priorities”:
We’re taking industry-leading measures to help keep young people safe on TikTok, such as: We continue to evaluate and improve our policies, processes and systems and consult with external experts.
In any case, the legal proceedings are ongoing and SOMI is hoping for compensation of up to 1.4 billion euros for the parents. However, this calculation is still very hypothetical and is based on the millions of Dutch TikTok users.