The UFC-Que Choisir consumer association has joined forces with several European consumer associations to attack the Chinese social network, which is very popular with adolescents.
These associations denounce in particular a vagueness around the use of posted videos and personal data.
The UFC-Que Choisir announces that it is filing a complaint at European - and national - level against TikTok.
The consumer association, allied with other European associations, considers that the video sharing application, of Chinese origin, widely used by adolescents, does not sufficiently protect minors.
In particular, she believes that the social network does not take any specific measures to protect its users, who are particularly vulnerable, even though you can officially register for it from 13 years old.
According to figures from the association, 45% of children under 13 admit having already used the application.
"TikTok gives itself the right to do what it wants with the published videos"
The UFC-Que Choisir explains having found several infringements of user rights, and asks both the European Commission and the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) in France to investigate.
Regarding the conditions of use of the platform, UFC-Que Choisir denounces "unclear wording, clauses contrary to the law and which favor TikTok to the detriment of its users".
According to the association, "TikTok gives itself the right to do what it wants with the published videos: use them, modify them, reproduce them without users having a say."
The UFC-Que Choisir recalls that such practices are "illegal".
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The association is also targeting one of TikTok's functionalities: the establishment of a virtual currency which allows purchases of virtual gifts in order to reward certain videos.
"A few clicks are enough and TikTok does everything it can to make the user forget that it is real money. While the majority of TikTok users are minors, European consumer associations want to lift the veil on these loathsome practices that encourage teens to donate money to their favorite TikTokers, "we can still read on the UFC-Que Choisir site.
The complaint of UFC-Que Choisir joins that of the European Bureau of Consumers' Unions (BEUC) and the network of consumer protection authorities.
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A phenomenon and suspicions: should we be wary of TikTok?
The future of the application, still uncertain in the United States
Subsidiary of the Chinese group ByteDance, TikTok, which is having at least as much success in the West as in Asia, has come under much criticism in countries where the application has developed.
Last June, it was banned in India, the government citing security reasons and "Indian cyberspace sovereignty".
At the end of the year, the Trump administration also engaged in a real standoff with the Chinese.
Pointing to the risks of espionage, the former president had threatened to ban the application if the American branch of the latter was not transferred to the United States.
But the takeover by the Oracle and Walmart duo was suspended in February by the new Biden administration, anxious to scrutinize the agreement reached.