A 12-year-old British girl will take on TikTok in a personal data use lawsuit over an alleged breach of the EU’s data policies. As reported by Bloomberg, the girl has been granted anonymity in order to protect during the proceedings.
TikTok has come off the back of a fairly turbulent year when it comes to legal challenges. Facing restrictions and potential bans in the U.S. the company has not had it all its own way this year. Even with Trump departing the Whitehouse these restrictions and legal proceedings look to continue to rumble on.
However, the infamy that Trump’s attack on TikTok created in many ways has helped the social media platform. It became the most downloaded app in 2020 largely thanks to the uncertainty about its legality going forwards driving its popularity.
However, TikTok now might face a new problem in the form of a personal data use lawsuit. As reported by Phone Arena, the Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield will take the case on behalf of the minor. She has said keeping the girl in question anonymous is important as it will prevent any direct bullying or negative reactions on the platform.
TikTok facing a lawsuit from a 12 year old girl
Scrutiny on TikTok’s personal data use policies is not a new thing with the EU ramping up its surveillance of the platform in recent months. This is especially relevant when it comes to children’s data. In June the EU pledged to establish a task force to better understand “TikTok’s processing and practices”.
It is worth stressing that this lawsuit is in its very early stages. However, it does attack key aspects of the platform’s mode of operation.
TikTok has responded to the claims in a strongly worded statement, however. The company said, “Privacy and safety are top priorities for TikTok”. The statement also went onto point out that it only became aware of the suit very recently. As a result, the company would consider “its implications” before making any further comment.
Details are thin on the ground regarding exactly what this suit entails. All we know is that this girl believes that here privacy has been infringed and is seeking a remedy. What that means in practice is still unknown and given the legal anonymity in place, it could be sometime before we find out anything more concrete.
In the meantime, we will have to wait for any further details about this case. However, prior speculation about TikTok’s data practices surrounding children does give this case some more weight than it otherwise might have.