The application is very popular but according to several consumer associations, it exploits the rights and data of its users, often very young. The UFC-Que Choisir and several other consumer associations in Europe announced this Tuesday, February 16, the filing of a complaint against the social network TikTok.
Should we be wary of TikTok?
The objective: to force the Chinese social network to put in place concrete measures to protect minors. An investigation will be launched by the Commission into the practices of this very popular video-sharing application.
Between the trade war between Beijing and Washington, and various facts, the application is regularly singled out across the world. TikTok had restricted the privacy settings of its users aged 13 to 15 in mid-January a few days after observers accused its algorithm of promoting access to sexualized videos featuring minors.
The Italian authorities had for their part blocked access to the network at the end of January to users whose age is not guaranteed, after the death of a 10-year-old girl in Sicily who took part in the “headscarf game” on the network. social.
All crazy about TikTok
Social network “Does not succeed” to protect young people, deplores the UFC-Que Choisir. “Concretely, in the application, the videos scroll, and after a few minutes, inappropriate content for minors appears, even if the user has correctly entered his age in his profile”, summarizes to “20 Minutes” Laurie Liddell, lawyer specializing in new technologies at UFC-Que Choisir. These could be videos containing inappropriate or sexually explicit language, for example.
In addition, the platform accepts registrations from 13 years old, yet 45% of children under this age indicated using the application in France, says Que Choisir.
“Over-exploited” personal data
The UFC also denounces “The deceptive system” of “Virtual gifts” aiming to reward the favorite videos of Internet users. TikTok “Makes every effort to ensure that the user forgets that it is real money”, says the association, qualifying these practices as “Detestable”.
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Another point of contention: the consumer association also believes that user data is “Overexploited”, “Contrary to the obligations of the GDPR”, the regulation which guarantees users certain rights over their data.
“Very concretely, TikTok gives itself the right to do what it wants with the published videos: use them, modify them, reproduce them without users having a say. “
For the UFC, there are several possibilities to protect minors. So that they are not confronted with videos unsuitable for their age, the association proposes to use an algorithm to filter certain content, or to increase moderation efforts on the social network.
(Finally) watch the men move
On advertising, virtual gifts and data protection, UFC-Que Choisir asks for more “Transparency” and an “Better information for users”, explains the lawyer to “20 Minutes”.