The Dutch data protection officer said on Friday that he would investigate how the Chinese social media app TikTok, which became very popular during the COVID 19 pandemic, was handling the data of millions of young users.
The move is in the midst of the growing U.S. app review, which allows users to create short videos of themselves and share them with millions of people worldwide.
TikTok belongs to the Chinese company ByteDance and first became popular in Asia. Now it has a large following in the West too.
It is estimated that there are between 500 million and 1 billion users worldwide.
The company, which introduced child protection last month, said it was working with the Dutch authorities.
"TikTok's top priority is protecting the privacy and security of our users, especially our younger users," spokeswoman Gudrun Herrmann said in a statement sent to Reuters.
In April, TikTok blocked live chat and video streaming for users under 16 and introduced parental controls to restrict inappropriate content and manage screen time.
"For many users, this is an important way to keep in touch with friends and to spend time together, especially during the current coronavirus crisis," said the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) in a statement.
"The rise of TikTok has raised privacy concerns."
The data protection authority highlights the vulnerability of teenagers and children who may not be aware of the consequences of their online behavior and checks whether TikTok adequately protects the privacy of Dutch children.
The data protection authority will check whether the app clearly states how data is used and whether "parental consent is required for TikTok to collect, store and use personal data from children".
Preliminary results of the investigation are expected later this year.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)