TikTok sued in UK

 TikTok is facing a lawsuit over alleged misuse of children's information, which is being backed by Anne Longfield, the former children's commissioner for England. She maintains the social media app has been collecting personal data on millions of children across the U.K. and Europe since May 2018, including phone numbers, videos, locations and biometric information. The app then gives this data to unknown third parties for profit, according to the suit, which is demanding billions of pounds and transparency over what data is collected.


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Bigger picture: Longfield is also demanding clarity over what ages the app is meant for (it currently targets people 13 and older). She further cited a government study from Ofcom that showed 44% of 8-12 year olds use the app, calling it a "data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network." TikTok has more than 800M users worldwide, with 100M users in Europe alone.


"Privacy and safety are top priorities for TikTok," the company responded in a statement. "We believe the claims lack merit and intend to vigorously defend the action."


Go deeper: This is not the first time TikTok has been in the spotlight over its data practices. Back in 2019, U.S. trade regulators fined TikTok's parent company, Chinese tech firm ByteDance (BDNCE), $5.7M over allegations of illegally collecting personal information on children under 13. The Trump administration also attempted to force a sale of TikTok's U.S. operations to an American company - Oracle (ORCL), Walmart (WMT) and Microsoft (MSFT) were interested - citing national security concerns surrounding data security and privacy. Last December, a U.S. district court judge prevented the Commerce Department from imposing the restrictions on TikTok, though the app has been banned in other countries like India.

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