Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) exists to protect kids by requiring parental consent in order to collect children’s personal information for kids under 13.  Unfortunately,,  now known as Tic Toc, even after settling with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for COPPA violations in February 2019 for $5.7 million, seems to have violated COPPA again.

Last year, according to the FTC, “ app violated the COPPA Rule by failing to notify parents about the app’s collection and use of personal information from users under 13, obtain parental consent before such collection and use, and delete personal information at the request of parents.”  Moreover, “[t]he operators of the app were aware that a significant percentage of users were younger than 13 and received thousands of complaints from parents that their children under 13 had created accounts, according to the FTC’s complaint.”

As of May, 2020, Tic Toc is being sued for violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.  According to the Complaint, Tic Toc allegedly “… scans users’ faces and “face geometry” to capture their biometric data, as well as to determine the user’s age using an algorithm.  In collecting such biometrics, allegedly Tic Toc failed to “ (1) warn users that the app captures, collects, and stores their biometric data; (2) inform users of the purpose or length of time that they collect, store, and use biometric data; (3) obtain users’ written consent to capture their biometric data; and (4) implement and/or make publicly available a written policy disclosing to users its practices concerning the collection, use, and destruction of their biometric information in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act….”  In this case, the plaintiff is the parent of a 17 year old.

Best business practice is to be legally compliant with Privacy Laws for your business, and work with third parties that are also compliant.

Friendly reminder: Substantiation + transparency = TRUST!  Having legally compliant marketing campaigns, including compliance with privacy laws, builds trust. Any question? Feel free to contact me.

#substantiationequalstrust #transparencyformstrust #advertisingandmarketinglawyer

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