BOSTON (AP) – Lawyers in eight states across the United States are investigating the harmful effects of popular video processor TikTok on children. The investigation, announced by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy, focuses on the technology the company uses to keep young people glued to their phone screens for long periods of time.
“As children struggle with issues such as anxiety, social stress and depression, we cannot allow social media companies to do further harm to their physical health and mental well-being,” the lawyer said. The investigation should determine whether TikTok features are designed to cause or exacerbate such physical or mental problems.
TikTok has responded that it makes great efforts for the well-being of users of the popular video app for short music videos that users can upload. “We appreciate the Attorney General’s focus on the safety of young users. We look forward to sharing information on the many security and privacy measures we take for teens.”
Tic Tac Toe is not just for the well-being of young people in the United States. The Dutch Commission on Personal Data last year fined the processor 50 750,000 for violating TikTok’s privacy of minors. The information the children received from TikTok was in English and, according to the supervisor, was not easy to understand.
A major European inquiry into TikTok, conducted by the Irish Privacy Watch, looks at the processing of personal data of young people under the age of 18 in more detail. Irish is also examining whether the apps are properly verifying that users are under 13 years old.
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