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TikTok hit with EU consumer law complaint

16 Feb 2021 / data law Print

TikTok gets hit with EU consumer law complaint

An organisation representing national consumer groups across the EU has filed a complaint against video-sharing platform TikTok.

Umbrella group BEUC argues that the Chinese-owned platform, which has become popular with teenagers, “falls foul of multiple breaches of EU consumer rights”, and claims that it fails to protect children from hidden advertising and inappropriate content.

Terms 'unclear'

The consumer group describes TikTok’s terms of service as “unclear” and “ambiguous”, claiming they favour the company at the expense of its users.

BEUC is also critical of TikTok’s ‘virtual item policy’, which manages the popular feature enabling users to buy coins which they use for virtual gifts for TikTok celebrities.

“TikTok is also potentially failing to conduct due diligence when it comes to protecting children from inappropriate content such as videos showing suggestive content,” says BEUC.

Data protection

The organisation says its complaint has been filed with the EU’s network of consumer protection authorities.

It adds that it has also brought various TikTok practices to the attention of data protection authorities.

In response, TikTok said it had asked for a meeting with BEUC to listen to its concerns.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland