TikTok fined €345 million in Europe related to children's data
The European Union on Friday fined social network TikTok €345 million for violating its data protection rules (GDPR) in the processing of information about minors.
TikTok will have to pay several fines totaling 345 million euros. © Martin Meissner / AP
By: RFI Follow
TikTok Technology Limited will have to pay "administrative fines totalling €345 million" and bring its operations into compliance within three months, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), acting on behalf of the EU, said in a statement. The Irish Data Protection Authority is competent to act on behalf of the EU, as TikTok's main establishment in Europe is in Ireland.
The DPC had opened in September 2021 an investigation into this subsidiary of the Chinese giant ByteDance, very popular among young people, which now has 150 million users in the United States and 134 million in the European Union. The investigations covered the period from 31 July to 31 December 2020.
The Irish authority notes in particular in its decision that the registration of children on the platform was done in such a way that their accounts were defined as public by default. Other problems were the "family login" mode, which allows a parent's TikTok account to be linked to their teen's. According to the decision, the company did not verify whether the associated user was really the parent or guardian. In addition, while the platform is theoretically reserved for users at least 13 years old, the DPC believes that TikTok did not properly take into account the risks posed to younger people who still managed to create an account.
TikTok "respectfully disagree»
TikTok "respectfully disagrees with the decision, in particular the level of the fine imposed," a spokesperson said, adding that the company is "evaluating the next steps," without commenting on the possibility of appealing. "The DPC's criticism focuses on features and settings that were in place three years ago, and that we changed" shortly after, the company argued, noting for example that all accounts of people under 16 are now private by default. The company says it closely monitors the age of its users, including removing nearly 17 million accounts worldwide in the first three months of 2023 alone because they were suspected of belonging to people under the age of 13.
This is not the first time that the platform has been pinned by the courts for such reasons. In April 2023, the United Kingdom had imposed a fine of 12.7 million pounds sterling (about 14.7 million euros) on the social network.
See alsoThe European Union takes on internet giants and strengthens competition rules
And with AFP)
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