May 12, 2020 / 10:53 PM / 19 days ago

Colombia to look into TikTok's treatment of children's data

FILE PHOTO: The TikTok logo is seen on a screen over Times Square in New York City, U.S., March 6, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia’s commerce regulator said on Tuesday it would look into whether Chinese-owned social media app TikTok complies with laws on the collection and treatment of children’s and adolescents’ personal data.

The move comes amid growing U.S. scrutiny of the app and a similar investigation announced last week by the Netherlands’ privacy watchdog.

TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with millions of people worldwide.

“The superintendency is seeking to establish if TikTok Pte Ltd. has demonstrably implemented the principle of responsibility in the treatment of data from Colombian citizens who use its services,” the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce said in a statement posted on its website.

Colombia’s constitution orders special protections for minors, who are the app’s principal users, the statement added.

TikTok - owned by Chinese company ByteDance - first gained popularity in Asia but now has a massive following around the world. It is estimated to have between 500 million and 1 billion users.

The company did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment but said last week it is cooperating with Dutch authorities in their investigation.

In April, TikTok blocked the live chat and video streaming function for users under 16 and introduced parental controls to restrict inappropriate content and manage screentime.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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