When children from across the country were signing up in huge numbers for an app to create their own lip-syncing and dance videos, they were also being asked to turn over personal information without their parents knowing about it, in violation of the law, according to federal officials.
Now the operator of that social-networking platform, TikTok—formerly known as Musical.ly—is paying a record amount to settle a complaint brought by a consumer-protection agency over allegations that it collected email addresses, phone numbers, profile pictures, bios, and other information without proper consent.
TikTok agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission a $5.7 million fine.
Since 2014, the app has been downloaded by more than 200 million users worldwide, and 65 million accounts have been registered in the United States, the FTC said.
A version of this article appeared in the March 13, 2019 edition of Education Week as FTC Hits Company With Record Fine Over Children’s Privacy