A Netherlands-based non-profit organisation initiated a lawsuit against social media app TikTok seeking €1.4 billion in compensation for allegedly neglecting the privacy and safety of more than 1 million Dutch children.

In a writ sent to TikTok today (2 June), the Foundation for Market Information Research (SOMI) claimed the ByteDance-owned app intentionally tempted children and gathered as much personal data as possible to serve-up tailored adverts.

SOMI argued there had been a “serious violation of privacy and consumer rights”, with data processed “without a valid basis” and shared with third parties in the US and China. It also claimed TikTok failed to adequately inform children and their parents about how their data would be used for targeted advertising or harmful content on the platform.

A court hearing is expected on 15 September.

The legal action adds to current European Commission (EC) scrutiny of TikTok, which commenced formal dialogue with the company late last month following a complaint by a consumer group regarding alleged breaches of European Union consumer rights.

In a statement, the EC explained it will focus on claims of “hidden marketing, aggressive advertising techniques” and some terms which could be misleading and confusing for users.

The French Data Protection Agency (CNIL) initiated a probe into TikTok’s privacy policies and child safety options in August 2020.