The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) filed a complaint with the European Commission (EC) accusing TikTok of violating several consumer privacy and child safety regulations, and seeking an investigation of the app’s policies.

Citing its own research, BEUC alleged TikTok’s terms of service, data and virtual currency policies were all either unclear, unfair or misleading. It added the app failed to protect children from hidden advertising and harmful content.

TikTok should “properly inform consumers about its business model and data processing activities and stop imposing unfair terms and practices on its users”, BEUC argued.

It said its consumer group members had pressed authorities in 15 countries including France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland to investigate the app.

BEUC director general Monique Goyens argued in a statement authorities “must act now to make sure TikTok is a place where consumers, especially children, can enjoy themselves without being deprived of their rights”.

Mounting pressure
The move increases pressure on TikTok on the continent: the European Data Protection Board formed a taskforce in June 2020 to take a closer look at TikTok’s data practices, which the French Data Protection Agency (CNIL) later revealed it was collaborating with as part of a probe into the app’s privacy and child safety policies.

Earlier this month, Italy’s data protection watchdog forced TikTok to block users under the age of 13 years after the death of a ten year-old user.