TikTok settles with Illinois family over children's data case

TikTok settles with Illinois family over children's data case
© LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP

ByteDance, the parent company of social media company TikTok, on Wednesday reached a settlement with two Illinois families a day after they sued the company over its child data practices.

Gary Mason, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers, confirmed to The Hill on Thursday that settlement papers have been filed.

As a part of the settlement, a fund of $1.1 million will be created to be distributed to claimants. Mason told The Hill that each claimant will get an estimated $10.

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TikTok did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the original lawsuit or the settlement.

The lawsuit, filed in Northern District Court of Illinois on Tuesday, alleged that ByteDance tracked, collected and disclosed information to a third party about the children that used the company's Musical.ly app.

ByteDance purchased Musical.ly in 2017, then rebranded it as TikTok.

Under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), developers of apps geared toward children cannot collect personally identifiable information of children under 13 without consent from parents or legal guardians.

Mason told The Hill that the settlement reached in this case compared favorably to a settlement reached between the Federal Trade Commission and Musical.ly over a separate complaint about COPPA violations.

In that settlement, TikTok said it would require new users to verify their age and promised to work to verify the ages of users currently on the platform. 

The app also said it would work to ensure that users under 13 access a "limited, separate app experience" replete with "safety and privacy protections."