Bytedance and its TikTok social media platform have withstood intense challenges by two of the world’s largest superpowers, but now the Dutch are also piling on.
AP news today reported by Mike Corder shows the Dutch Consumentenbond agency pursuing a lawsuit against TikTok for €1.5 billion, in connection with the activities of an estimated 1.2 million to 1.6 million users of juvenile age.
The Consumentenbond and a group called Take Back Your Privacy are going after TikTok based on allegations of unlawful data harvesting, and agency leaders have explosive words for the social media company.
“The conduct of TikTok is pure exploitation,” Consumentenbond director Sandra Molenaar said. “The company earns hundreds of millions per year on the backs of children. And that while privacy law prescribes that children should receive additional protection.”
Last week, we reported how China is cracking down on the Chinese version of TikTok with some similar types of data privacy concerns. We also pointed out that for a year or so, the American Trump administration was trying to force Bytedance to sell TikTok to an American company over spurious national security issues.
Today, the U.S. efforts have been shuttered, and it’s assume that Chinese officials and TikTok leaders have come to some sort of implicit stalemate. However, Corder points out that the European Union as a whole is also launching its own investigation into the platform, and other company countries like Pakistan have banned the social media platform outright.
It hasn’t been a smooth and easy road for TikTok, but this video-based user community venue keeps on ticking – its short form video component appeals to new generations of users who want to share themselves with the world. The question is how TikTok will continue to deal with a variety of ambushes from regulators around the world.