The Take Back Your Privacy Foundation and Consumentenbond, through the law firm Scott + Scott, have helped the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee prepare for its hearing with TikTok boss Shou Zi Chew on Thursday 23 March.
The US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee wants to know from Chew about the privacy of TikTok users, the security of data collected by TikTok and whether the Chinese government has access to that data. In doing so, the committee is paying specific attention to the safety of children on the popular platform.
Sandra Molenaar, director Consumentenbond: ‘TikTok violates the privacy of its users deliberately. It earns billions on the backs of children. It is incredibly important that these practices become visible. And that is why it is so good that US Congress recognised the lawyers’ expertise and gave them the opportunity to inform the committee.’
Friederike van der Jagt, president of the Take Back Your Privacy Foundation: ‘For our claim, we did extensive research into how TikTok works. We have evidence that the app collects huge amounts of personal information from children. Based thereon, TikTok builds detailed profiles and uses them for advertising purposes. In addition, the company does not protect these young users from harmful videos. We provided all this valuable information for the hearing. We have also proposed questions for the committee to ask.’
Take Back Your Privacy, supported by the Consumentenbond, launched a collective action against TikTok in 2021 on behalf of all underage TikTok users in the Netherlands. Take Back Your Privacy demands that TikTok pay Dutch underage TikTok users damages for unlawfully collecting and trading their data. The company must also delete collected data and comply with the law from now on. Consumers wishing to support the action or seeking compensation for their children can sign up.
See the news article on the website of the Consumentenbond as well.