Colombia to look into TikTok’s treatment of children’s data

ARCHIVE PHOTO: The TikTok logo is seen on a screen in Times Square in New York City, USA, on March 6, 2020. REUTERS / Andrew Kelly

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia's trade regulator said on Tuesday that it will analyze whether the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok complies with laws on the collection and processing of personal data from children and adolescents.

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The move comes amid growing U.S. scrutiny by the app and a similar investigation announced last week by the Netherlands' privacy watchdog.

TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with millions of people around the world.

"The superintendency is trying to establish whether TikTok Pte Ltd. has demonstrated that it has implemented the principle of responsibility in processing data for Colombian citizens who use its services," said the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce in a statement posted on its website.

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Colombia's constitution calls for special protections for minors, who are the main users of the application, the statement added.

TikTok – owned by the Chinese company ByteDance – gained popularity for the first time in Asia, but now has many followers around the world. It is estimated to have between 500 million and 1 billion users.

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The company did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment, but said last week that it is cooperating with Dutch authorities in its investigation.

In April, TikTok blocked the live chat and video broadcast function for users under the age of 16 and introduced parental controls to restrict inappropriate content and manage watch time.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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