The European Consumers Organization (BEUC) filed a complaint with the European Commission and the network of consumer protection authorities against TikTok . Furthermore, consumer organizations in 15 countries have alerted their authorities and urged them to investigate the conduct of this popular short video social network.
The document speaks of unfair terms, including in relation to copyright and copyright. TikTok virtual currency. Concerns are also raised about the type of content that children are exposed to on the platform; and allegations regarding misleading data processing and privacy practices.
Details of the alleged violations are detailed in two reports: one on data protection and privacy ; and another document that addresses issues related to consumer protection.
The statement released by BEUC summarizes the violations alleged by Tik Tok. In this sense, they highlight that several points of TikTok's “Terms of Service” are unfair: “they are unclear, ambiguous and favor TikTok to the detriment of its users. Its copyright terms are equally unfair since they grant TikTok an irrevocable right to use, distribute and reproduce the videos published by users, without remuneration ", it is highlighted in the text.
It also highlights that the" Articles Policy virtual gifts ”from TikTok that manages the virtual gift purchase feature contains unfair terms and deceptive practices. "TikTok claims, for example, an absolute right to change the exchange rate between currencies and gifts, which could skew the financial transaction in their favor," they underline.
They also say that TikTok does not protect children and adolescents from hidden advertising and potentially harmful content on your platform. “For example, users are encouraged to participate in branded hashtag challenges where they are encouraged to create specific product content. As popular influencers are often the starting point of such challenges, commercial intent is often masked for users, ”he highlights.
In turn, they believe that the social network fails to protect minors from inappropriate content, such as videos that show suggestive content.
On the other hand, they argue that TikTok's practices for the processing of users' personal data are misleading.
“TikTok does not clearly inform its users, especially in a way that is understandable to children and adolescents, about what personal data is collected, for what purpose and for what legal reason ”, they list.
And they conclude:“ We consider that some of these practices, as well as others, potentially violate the General Data Protection Regulation and we have made them aware of the Data Protection Authorities in the context of their ongoing investigations about the company. ”