TikTok Fined €345 Million by European Union for Violating Data Protection Rules
The popular Chinese social platform, TikTok, has been fined by the European Union with a hefty amount of €345 million for violating the rules on processing personal data of children and adolescents. This marks the first penalty imposed by the Chinese platform bloc.
The fine was announced by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), which is responsible for ensuring compliance with EU data protection laws. The investigation, initiated in September 2021, uncovered that TikTok had breached EU regulations by automatically creating profiles for children aged between 13 and 17. This allowed any user to view their content and initiate contact.
Furthermore, the platform failed to provide sufficient transparency to its underage users concerning the handling of their data. The presence of a family association feature also lacked guarantees to confirm that an adult connected to a child’s account was truly their parent or guardian.
TikTok’s representative expressed disagreement with the decision, particularly due to the magnitude of the imposed fine. The representative highlighted that the criticism from the DPC pertained to features and settings that were implemented three years ago, and had already been modified prior to the investigation.
Meanwhile, Elaine Fox, TikTok’s Privacy Head in Europe, stated that the platform remains committed to further strengthening safeguards for adolescents.
Interestingly, despite objections raised by Italian and German data protection authorities, the fine amount remained unchanged. TikTok has been given a three-month period to find a resolution.
Additionally, it is anticipated that the DPC will share the findings of its investigation into TikTok’s data transfers to China with other European data protection authorities by the end of the year.