Canada Is Investigating TikTok’s Collection of Children’s Data

Canada Is Investigating TikTok’s Collection of Children’s Data
Four privacy regulators in Canada are launching an investigation into TikTok over its collection, use, and disclosure of personal information - including whether it’s complying with laws when dealing with younger users. 

Four privacy regulators in Canada are launching an investigation into TikTok over its collection, use, and disclosure of personal information – including whether it’s complying with laws when dealing with younger users.

The probe into the social media platform, which is owned by China’s ByteDance Ltd., is being conducted by privacy watchdogs from the federal government and the provinces of Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia. It follows settled class action lawsuits in the US and Canada, the regulators said in a statement.

“An important proportion of TikTok users are younger users,” the regulators said. “The joint investigation will have a particular focus on TikTok’s privacy practices as they relate to younger users, including whether the company obtained valid and meaningful consent from these users for the collection, use, and disclosure of their personal information.”

The popular video-sharing platform finds itself under increasing scrutiny from politicians and regulators for its handling of user data, amid fears that the Chinese government could force the company to share that data. TikTok has also been accused of providing inappropriate content to minors and was sued in December year by the state of Indiana for doing so.

“The privacy and safety of the TikTok community, particularly our younger users, is always a top priority, and we are committed to operating with transparency to earn and maintain the trust of the many Canadians who create and find joy on our platform,” a TikTok spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We welcome the opportunity to work with the federal and provincial privacy protection authorities to set the record straight on how we protect the privacy of Canadians.”

The Canadian investigation will also determine if the company is meeting its transparency obligations when collecting personal information, the statement said.