TikTok gets fined $5.7 million for collecting children's data, announces new kid-friendly version

A fine you can dance to.
A positive you’ll dance to.

Symbol: AFP / Getty Pictures

Good fortune regularly comes at a value. For the corporate in the back of the video clip app TikTok, that worth in order that occurs to be within the type of a report positive. 

In keeping with a Feb. 27 Federal Business Fee remark, the app previously referred to as Musical.ly illegally amassed information from youngsters below the age of 13, and consequently was once hit with a $five.7 million civil penalty.

“The operators of Musical.ly, now referred to as TikTok, knew youngsters had been the usage of the app however they nonetheless failed to hunt parental consent earlier than gathering names, e-mail addresses, and different private data from customers below the age of 13,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons stated in a remark. 

The app, which has been downloaded 1 billion occasions, is owned by means of the Chinese language corporate ByteDance and is accountable for the proliferation of odd lip-synching (and finger consuming) movies to your Twitter feed. TikTok isn’t precisely a Vine alternative, however slightly represents an evolution within the looping-video style. As a testomony to its luck, Fb attempted to tear off TikTok with a viral clip app of its personal.

Importantly, when TikTok was once simply beginning below the title Musical.ly, profiles had been set as public by means of default. In keeping with the FTC, despite the fact that a profile was once set to personal, strangers may nonetheless DM the account in query. You’ll believe how this could be problematic if, say, a Musical.ly, account belonged to an 11-year-old. 

“Actually, because the criticism notes, there were public reviews of adults seeking to touch youngsters by the use of the Musical.ly app,” notes the FTC press liberate. “As well as, till October 2016, the app incorporated a function that allowed customers to view different customers inside a 50-mile radius in their location.”

That is not excellent. 

In what’s most likely now not a accident, TikTok tweeted a video as of late appearing customers the right way to flip off DMs altogether. 

The corporate additionally introduced a “separate app revel in” that incorporates additional privateness protections for younger customers. 

“Starting as of late, this extra app revel in now permits us to separate customers into age-appropriate TikTok environments, in step with FTC steering for blended target market apps,” reads an organization press liberate. “The brand new atmosphere for more youthful customers does now not allow the sharing of private data, and it places intensive obstacles on content material and consumer interplay.”

In fact, TikTok’s newfound determination to protecting youngsters off its platform is working into a couple of system defects. In some instances, TikTok is soliciting for that newly locked-out customers put up copies in their govt issued ID to turn out their true age. 

Simply every other day in viral-video app paradise. 

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