Several consumer associations in Europe on Tuesday announced a complaint against social media network TikTok, which is accused of exploiting the rights and data of users who are often too young.
The European Consumer Union Office, which includes many consumer associations on the continent, will ask the European Commission to launch an investigation into the practice of the famous video sharing app, the Federation of Consumers-Co Schwazer said in a statement.
Between the beijing-Washington trade war and entertainment news, the popular app for light videos is facing trouble around the world.
The app restricted the privacy settings of its users between the ages of 13 and 15 in mid-January, just days after observers accused its algorithm of favoring access to sex videos showing minors.
Italian authorities, for their part, blocked access to the network at the end of last month for unverified users, following the death of a 10-year-old girl in Sicily who participated in a “scarf game” on social media.
The Federal Consumer Association says TikTok is unable to protect young people, citing failures to protect against hidden advertising and “potentially dangerous” content.
In addition, the platform accepts registration from the age of 13, yet 45% of children under this age indicate that they use the app in France, according to the association that condemned the “deceptive system” of the so-called “virtual gifts” and aims to reward users’ favorite videos.
She wrote that TikTok is “doing its best to make the user forget that it’s real money” to pay, describing the practices as “abhorrent.”
The Association also believes that the application exploits user data “excessively”, contrary to the relevant regulation sought to guarantee users certain rights to their data.
“Very concretely, TikTok gives itself the right to do what it wants with the videos posted: use, edit and copy it without users having a say,” the association says.