TikTok Faced With Complaints About Breach of Consumer Law

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Short video-sharing app, TikTok, is facing multiple complaints from European Union (EU) consumer groups for allegedly violating the consumer laws, as well as failing to protect children from advertising and inappropriate content.

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company, ByteDance, is fast growing in popularity around the world, especially, among teenagers.

The app has been facing series of criticism about its privacy and safety policies following a number of incidents.

European consumer group cited several issues in its complaint, among them, its terms of service. The group said:

They (TikTok’s terms of service) are unclear, ambiguous and favour TikTok to the detriment of its users. Its copyright terms are equally unfair as they give TikTok an irrevocable right to use, distribute and reproduce the videos published by users, without remuneration.”

The EU consumer group (BEUC) also cited that TikTok’s virtual item policy, where users can purchase coins to use for virtual gifts for TikTok celebrities whose performance they like, contains unfair terms and misleading practices.

TikTok fails to protect children and teenagers from hidden advertising and potentially harmful content on its platform,” the group said.

The company’s practices for the processing of users’ personal data are misleading, BEUC added.

In addition to BEUC’s complaint, consumer organisations in 15 countries have alerted their authorities and urged them to act.

We’re always open to hearing how we can improve, and we have contacted BEUC as we would welcome a meeting to listen to their concerns,” a TikTok spokesman said.

The company said it has developed an in-app summary of its privacy policy to make it easier for teens to understand its stand on privacy.

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