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TikTok Ordered to Answer Brazil Questions on Children’s Data Use

May 15, 2020, 6:08 PM

ByteDance Ltd’s TikTok faces a three-day deadline to tell Brazil’s Sao Paulo state how it protects the privacy of children’s data.

The Sao Paulo Special Consumer Defense Secretariat in a Thursday notice asked TikTok for the company’s guidelines for the collection of children’s data when it lacks explicit parental consent. The notice also asked TikTok to describe how it handles certain types of data, such as race and ethnicity, and how it shares information with commercial partners.

The notice adds to government and consumer scrutiny of the popular social media app.

“More governments will likely follow suit as allegations of data misuse emerge from various child advocacy groups,” Helga Turku, an attorney for London-based HewardMills, a data protection services firm, said in an e-mailed comment.

TikTok didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Sao Paulo secretariat’s request for information falls under the country’s data protection law approved in 2018. The law is scheduled to be fully implemented by August.

Governments in Colombia and and the Netherlands are investigating the video-sharing app’s protection of data rights of children. Consumer groups filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday alleging that TitTok is storing data of children without parental consent.

The company, formerly known as Musical.ly, settled with the FTC in 2019 for alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The company paid $5.7 million and entered into a consent decree.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lucien O. Chauvin at lchauvin@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com
To contact the editor on this story: John Hughes at jhughes@bloomberglaw.com; Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com

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