TikTok is below probe in the UK for how it manages the privacy and safety of young consumers. Elizabeth Denham (UK Information Commissioner) claimed to a parliamentary group this week that the well know short-form video app possibly breached GDPR laws that claim that tech firms must have different protections and rules for kids, reported the media. The UK started its investigation on TikTok back in February, soon after the FTC penalized the app for child privacy breaches.
Amongst the issues listed by Denham was TikTok’s open messaging service, which lets adult consumers to freely chat with kids. “We are seeing at the transparency tools for kids,” claimed Denham to the group. “We are seeing at the messaging platform, which is fully open, we are seeing at the type of clips that are shared and collected by kids online. We do have an active probe into TikTok currently, so look out for this space.”
TikTok, which is controlled by Chinese firm ByteDance, is encountering criticism all over the world for how it prioritizes the security of its core users of mostly young people. A report from Barnardo (the British charity) unveiled that predators were aiming at consumers as teen as 8 with sexually explicit texts. While the app needs that consumers be 13 Years of age or older so as to post content, most teen consumers can simply bypass that age-gate.
On a related note, ByteDance (TikTok’s owner) might have grander dreams than streaming music and chat apps. Media tipsters have stated that the firm is operating on its own handset. The handset might draw on acquired talent and patents from Chinese phone manufacturer Smartisan, and might naturally come loaded with ByteDance applications. The speculation did not include a launch schedule or specs, even though founder Zhang Yiming had evidently “dreamt” of a handset.