TikTok hit with consumer law breaches complaints across Europe


EU consumer group have hit TikTok with complaints of violating EU’s consumer laws and failing to protect children from inappropriate concent and hidden advertising.

The Chinese short video app, owned by China’s ByteDance, has been rapidly growing in popularity around the world, particularly among teenagers.

TikTok faces growing criticism about its privacy and safety policies following a number of incidents.

European consumer group BEUC cited several issues in its complaint, among them its terms of service.

The group called them “unclear, ambiguous and favour TikTok to the detriment of its users.”

“Its copyright terms are equally unfair as they give TikTok an irrevocable right to use, distribute and reproduce the videos published by users, without remuneration,” the group added.

BEUC said the company’s virtual item policy where users can purchase coins to use for virtual gifts for TikTok celebrities whose performance they like, contains unfair terms and misleading practices.

The company’s practices for the processing of users’ personal data are misleading, it said.

In addition to BEUC’s complaint, consumer organisations in 15 countries have alerted their authorities and urged them to act.

TikTok said it has developed an in-app summary of its privacy policy to make it easier for teens to understand its stand on privacy.