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Social media company TikTok targeted with lawsuit in Netherlands over collecting data on kids

TikTok has been targeted with a 1.4 billion euro lawsuit.

Updated: June 8, 2021 - 4:21pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Market Information Research Foundation (SOMI) representing thousands of Dutch parents has targeted TikTok with a lawsuit for 1.4 billion euros (approximately $1.7 billion) for gathering data from millions of kids.

The Epoch Times reported that according to Dutch media, SOMI lodged the lawsuit in an Amsterdam court earlier this month alleging that TikTok breached the European Union's data protection law. The organization said the app is amassing children's data without appropriate permission, that videos on the platform can be harmful to kids and the business fails to ensure the safety and privacy of youth.

SOMI co-founder Cor Wijtvliet told RTL Nieuws: "A court decision can directly restrict the practices of TikTok–and other social media platforms. … We have sent letters of complaints to TikTok and several European supervisory authorities in the past year, but have not seen any substantive results. That is why we have decided not to wait for the investigations by the authorities and to take legal action ourselves."

The Epoch Times also noted that a TikTok spokesperson told RTL Nieuws that the safety and privacy of those who utilize the platform are of "the highest priority."

TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese business Bytedance, recently altered its privacy policy in the U.S. which now states: "We may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws, such as faceprints and voiceprints, from your User Content. Where required by law, we will seek any required permissions from you prior to any such collection."