VINE WANNABE TikTok and its parent company ByteDance have agreed to cough up $1.1m (£835,000) to settle a lawsuit related to its "reckless" collection of children's data.
The proposed class-action, filed just last week, alleged that TikTok violated privacy laws by collecting data on underage users "in a reckless and unlawful manner" back when it was known as Musical.ly.
Under the US Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), social media companies are explicitly barred from storing data of children under the age of 13 without express parental consent.
However, Musical.ly requested that anyone under the age of 13 creating an account handed over personal information including name, phone number, email address, photo, and bio that information would be publicly available for other users to see.
The complaint also alleges that the app collected the location data of its users, including minors, between December 2015 and October 2016.
"[Musical.ly] surreptitiously tracked, collected, and disclosed the personally identifiable information and/or viewing data … of minor children, and then sold that data to third-party advertisers so they could, in turn, market their products and services," the complaint alleged.
In a statement, TikTok - which was last week dubbed a "potential threat" by the FBI - confirmed it had reached a settlement: "TikTok is firmly committed to safeguarding the data of its users, especially our younger users.
"Although we disagree with much of what is alleged in the complaint, we have been working with the parties involved and are pleased to have come to a resolution of the issues."
This isn't the first time TikTok has been forced to pay for privacy violations. Earlier this year, the FTC reached a $5.7m (£4.3m) settlement with TikTok over COPPA violations.
At the time, FTC Chairman Joe Simons said that the company "knew many children were using the app but they still failed to seek parental consent before collecting names, email addresses, and other personal information from users under the age of 13." μ
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