File picture: IANS
File picture: IANS

TikTok treatment of children's data to be investigated by Colombian authorities

By Julia Symmes Cobb Time of article published May 13, 2020

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Bogota - Colombia's commerce regulator said on Tuesday it would look into whether Chinese-owned social media app TikTok complies with laws on the collection and treatment of children's and adolescents' personal data.

The move comes amid growing U.S. scrutiny of the app and a similar investigation announced last week by the Netherlands' privacy watchdog.

TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with millions of people worldwide.

"The superintendency is seeking to establish if TikTok Pte Ltd. has demonstrably implemented the principle of responsibility in the treatment of data from Colombian citizens who use its services," the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce said in a statement posted on its website.

Colombia's constitution orders special protections for minors, who are the app's principal users, the statement added.

TikTok - owned by Chinese company ByteDance - first gained popularity in Asia but now has a massive following around the world. It is estimated to have between 500 million and 1 billion users.

The company did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment but said last week it is cooperating with Dutch authorities in their investigation.

The company, which introduced parental controls last month, said it was cooperating with Dutch authorities.

"TikTok's top priority is protecting our users’ privacy and safety, especially our younger users," spokeswoman Gudrun Herrmann said in a statement sent to Reuters.

In April, TikTok blocked the live chat and video streaming function for users under 16 and introduced parental controls to restrict inappropriate content and manage screentime.

Reuters

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