TikTok’s parent company sued for collecting data on kids

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is being sued after allegedly violating child privacy laws and collecting the data of young users through the video app, which was formerly called Musical.ly.

ByteDance acquired Musical.ly in 2017, which it later rebranded as the enormously popular social video app TikTok. According to the December 3rd complaint, ByteDance has collected data from Musical.ly users under the age of 13 without their parents’ explicit consent “since at least 2014” and sold the data to third-party advertisers.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, forbids social media companies from collecting the data of children without explicit parental consent. Failing to obtain that consent would be in violation of…

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