The €750,000 fine that the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) has imposed on TikTok for violating the privacy of children is a major boost for Dutch consumers, say the Consumentenbond and the Take Back Your Privacy Foundation. The Foundation and Consumentenbond claim €1.5 billion in damages on behalf of Dutch children from TikTok.
The AP found, among other things, that TikTok provided Dutch children with insufficient information about how the app collected, processed and used their personal data. For example, the privacy statement was only available in English, and thus not intelligible for Dutch children. This breach of the duty to inform is one of the reasons why Take Back Your Privacy Foundation and Consumentenbond are taking action against TikTok.
Support for the claim
The fine imposed by the DPA significantly supports the action by the Take Back Your Privacy Foundation and the Consumentenbond against TikTok. At the end of June 2021, they claimed EUR 1,5 billion in damages on behalf of approximately 1,5 million Dutch children. This because the TikTok is breaching privacy and consumer laws, and is earning billions of dollars by selling advertisements on the basis of illegally gathered personal data.
Sandra Molenaar, director of Consumentenbond, sees the fine primarily as a signal to TikTok: “It confirms that TikTok has broken the law and that our claim is well-founded. It shows how strong our case is. And hopefully it will lead TikTok to respond to our demands.”
“This fine is an important first step, but still far from sufficient and the fine should have been much higher,” says Friederike van der Jagt, chairman of Take Back Your Privacy Foundation. “It is a drop in the ocean, because TikTok also structurally violates other privacy rules and the consumer rights of Dutch children. We therefore continue to demand that TikTok ceases all its unlawful acts, deletes the unlawfully obtained personal data, and that Dutch children receive serious compensation.”
Supporting the claim
Consumentenbond and Take Back Your Privacy Foundation call on consumers to support the TikTok action they are pursuing and register as a supporter. This applies in particular to parents of children who have used TikTok or the predecessor of TikTok, musical.ly, in the Netherlands since 25 May 2018. You can register your support here.
The investigation into TikTok by data protection regulations is not over yet: the Irish Data Protection Commission is investigating various other privacy violations by TikTok.