Washington (February 27, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), House author of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), released the following statement today after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today fined TikTok $5.7 million for violating COPPA. The FTC will also now require TikTok to gain parental approval for users under 13 years of age.
“This FTC ruling underscores what we have long known: companies do not consider children’s personal information out of bounds,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. “But the clock is ticking on companies that don’t follow the law and protect the privacy of children. TikTok knowingly collected children’s data in order to reap profits with blatant disregard for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Kids’ lives are increasingly lived online, and companies like TikTok have been all too eager to take advantage of child app users at every turn.
“While this fine may be an historic high for a COPPA violation, it is not high enough for the harm that is done to children and to deter violations of the law in the future by other companies. I urge the FTC to make COPPA enforcement a top priority and protect the privacy of a uniquely vulnerable class of Americans, our children. That means making companies pay higher monetary penalties that will actually incentive COPPA compliance.”