The Take Back Your Privacy Foundation has achieved its first success in the class action against TikTok. The Dutch court finds that it has jurisdiction to rule on the Foundation’s claims against TikTok.
Judgment: Foundation gets it right
In the judgment of Nov. 9, 2022, the Amsterdam District Court ruled in favor of the Foundation on all points:
- The Dutch court has jurisdiction. TikTok argued that Dutch courts should not rule on the Foundation’s claims because, in short, TikTok is not based in the Netherlands. This defense was dismissed by the court. In line with what the Foundation argued, the Amsterdam court ruled that it had jurisdiction to rule on all of the Foundation’s claims against TikTok.
- Prejudicial questions are unnecessary. The court rejected TikTok’s request to submit preliminary questions to the European Court of Justice. The court rules that these questions are unnecessary.
- Proceedings are not stayed. TikTok’s attempt to cause delay through a stay of proceedings fails. The court finds that a stay of proceedings violates due process. There is no good reason to pause the case now.
- No interlocutory appeal. TikTok’s request to appeal now is denied by the court.
All in all, this means that the proceedings will now proceed despite TikTok’s frantic efforts to delay the case. This is good news for the children whose rights continue to be violated every day by TikTok. Friederike van der Jagt, president of the Take Back Your Privacy Foundation, says of the ruling, “We are delighted with this first victory. It is incredibly important that the judge is willing to judge the case, because TikTok will have to stop its unlawful practices. Children should be able to use TikTok safely in the future.”
The next step is that now the second phase of the proceedings will begin. That is, the court is going to assess which foundations are admissible. The court will then appoint an exclusive representative from the group of admissible claimants. More specifically:
- On Dec. 21, 2022, the Foundation must file a deed explaining why it should be appointed as exclusive advocate.
- Then, on February 1, 2023, TikTok must file a statement of defense in which it addresses (i) the foundations’ admissibility, (ii) applicable law and (iii) appointment of exclusive representative.
- A hearing will then take place and a court ruling will follow.
The Take Back Your Privacy Foundation and its cooperation partner the Consumentenbond are calling on consumers to support the action and to sign up. This applies in particular to (parents of) children in the Netherlands who have used TikTok or TikTok’s predecessor, musical.ly, since May 25, 2018. Sign up can be done here and is free.
See here for the official press statement from the Take Back Your Privacy Foundation and the Consumentenbond.