The Amsterdam District Court ruled on Wednesday January 10, 2024, that the Take Back Your Privacy Foundation – supported by the Dutch Consumers’ Association Consumentenbond – may exclusively represent the interests of Dutch children in a mass tort claim against TikTok. According to Take Back Your Privacy and the Consumentenbond, TikTok is violating the privacy of over 1.5 million Dutch children.
The court determined that Take Back Your Privacy is best suited to conduct the proceedings on behalf of 1.5 million Dutch children against TikTok (a so-called exclusive representative). Another plaintiff in the case against TikTok, Stichting Massaschade & Consument, will exclusively represent the interests of adult TikTok users. Take Back Your Privacy will now take the lead in the proceedings going forward. The judgment also means that TikTok must now respond on the merits to Take Back Your Privacy’s allegations.
Friederike van der Jagt, president of Take Back Your Privacy: ‘We are very pleased with this judgment. From now on, the TikTok case will be about the merits. The TikTok platform must answer for violations of privacy laws. We demand that TikTok pays Dutch minor users damages for illegally collecting and trading their data. The platform must also remove collected data and comply with the law from now on. Dutch children must be able to safely use TikTok in the future.’
Sandra Molenaar, director Consumentenbond: ‘Children and parents have no idea how much TikTok monitors users and what data it has been illegally collecting for years. Think of profile information, videos, photos, location data and everything children do in the app. For example, what they watch, for how long and what they like. TikTok uses this data to make billions in profit through targeted ad sales. The platform also sends children’s data abroad, including to China, without being clear what happens to that data next. This has to stop.’
This is a great victory in the collective action launched by Take Back Your Privacy in 2021 with the support of the Consumentenbond. Earlier, the Dutch court determined that it has jurisdiction over TikTok, even though the platform is not based in the Netherlands.
Registration still possible
Consumers can still register their children for the TikTok claim. This applies to parents/caregivers of children in the Netherlands who have used TikTok or musical.ly (TikTok’s predecessor) since May 25, 2018.