October 29, 2021

Consumer organizations want regulators to intervene against TikTok

TikTok misleads users, has unclear and unfair terms and conditions, and does not adequately protect children from ads and inappropriate content. That’s what 18 European consumer organizations say. They want regulators to intervene.

The Dutch Consumers’ Association and the Belgian Test Achievement are two of the organizations that have joined the complaint against TikTok. The organizations have submitted their complaint via the European umbrella organization BEU to the European Commission and the European network of supervisors CPC. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets, among others, is affiliated with this.

According to consumer organizations, video platform TikTok falls short in terms of privacy. The service is not clear about what data is collected and how it is processed. The Consumers’ Association also complains that the terms are not written in a way that a child can understand them.

TikTok also does not sufficiently protect children and teenagers against hidden advertisements, according to the complaint. The organizations thus refer to influencers who challenge young people to make videos with specific products themselves. Participants advertise in this way while they often do not realize it themselves, say the consumer organizations.

Furthermore, the organizations are not satisfied with the condition that gives TikTok the right to reuse videos from users and the fact that TikTok can change the exchange rate for TikTok coins in the meantime.

TikTok is particularly popular with children and has been under the scrutiny of consumer and privacy organizations for some time. Last year, the Dutch Data Protection Authority started a privacy investigation into TikTok . No results are yet known.

Early this year , TikTok changed its privacy policy for kids and their accounts were made private by default. Also, TikToks from children between the ages of 13 and 15 are no longer recommended to other users and it is no longer possible to download videos from users under the age of 16.