In the US, if the Chinese app Tiktok is bought by Microsoft or any other company, it will get a large number of dedicated fans. More than a third of the app’s users are teenagers.
The New York Times, after studying the company’s internal documents, said that 49 million Tiktok users in the United States in July were 14 years of age or younger. The number of users over the age of 14 is about 20 million. No age details of the remaining American users were received. The minimum age to use Tiktok is 13 years.
Referring to the children’s videos, a former Tiktok employee said that many of the users were younger than the prescribed age. That is, the company does not follow the age rules.
US President Donald Trump has announced a ban on Chinese apps. The government believes that Tikot and its owner, ByteDance, could help China’s ruling Communist Party obtain personal information from Americans.
Trump has said he is backing the purchase of Tiktok by Microsoft or another American company to address security concerns. The Online Privacy Protection of Children Act in the United States requires parental approval before obtaining personal information from children under the age of 13. Presumably, Tiktok confirms the age through a face recognition algorithm using profile pictures and videos.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently said, “Tic Tac Toe is a cup of poison for any buyer given the technology of the app. Growing up in the social media business is not easy. ‘
Any buyer of Tiktok will have to face other minor issues besides political pressure. These include content guidelines, data collection and child protection. The app is in high demand among advertisers due to its popularity among the youth.
A fine of Rs 42 crore
In 2018, the fading musicl.ly app in Tiktok was fined Rs 42 crore by the Federal Trade Commission last year for disposing of a breach case. Tiktok also declined to comment on the number of users. In response to a question regarding the safety of young users, a company representative said that they have taken steps such as facilitating parents to control the use of the app by teenagers.