A group of parents in the Netherlands is taking TikTok to court, claiming the social media platform does not do enough to protect the privacy and safety of their children. They claim the Chinese smartphone app is in breach of EU law.
The Market Information Research Foundation (SOMI), which represents more than 64,000 parents from the Netherlands and the rest of the European Union, sent a subpoena to an Amsterdam court on Tuesday.
The Dutch parents are seeking a €1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) payout.
The SOMI foundation claims that TikTok is collecting data from children without proper permission. SOMI’s lawyer, Douwe Linders said that the Chinese social media app collects more data than necessary, breaching EU law.
“It is not clear how TikTok uses personal data,” Linders said. ″This concerns, for example, personalized advertisements and the transfer of data to the United States and China.”
“Also, they don’t ask for permission properly,” Linders said. “Young people under the age of sixteen can too easily create a profile without permission from their parents.”
According to the foundation, a number of children have died around the world after being encouraged to take on a number of dangerous challenges. The Blackout Challenge, for example, is alleged to challenge TikTokkers to suffocate each other until they pass out.
Even if they do not cause death, Linders said, these “risky games or challenges” could psychologically or physically damage children.