TikTok has been fined by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC). The fine amounts to EUR 345 million, i.e. the equivalent of nearly PLN 1.6 billion. The reason for its imposition is a violation of the provisions on the protection of children’s personal data in the European Union, the Irish commission announced on Friday. TikTok disagrees with the decision.
TikTok is an application for sharing short videos. The platform breached a number of EU data protection rules between July 31, 2020 and December 31, 2020, the Irish commission said in a statement. DPC found that in 2020, accounts for users under the age of 16 were set to “public” by default.
It further pointed out that TikTok did not verify whether a user was actually the parent or guardian of the user’s child when the “family pairing” feature was enabled. The feature allows parents and guardians to connect their TikTok account to their teen’s account, allowing them to view and adjust content and privacy settings.
DPC gave the platform three months to adapt all data processing processes to EU regulations.
TikTok does not agree with the decision of the Irish commission.
“With all due respect, we disagree with this decision, particularly regarding the amount of the fine imposed. The criticism from the Data Protection Commission (DPC) focuses on features and settings that existed three years ago. Long before this case was even initiated.” procedure, we have introduced a number of changes in the application, e.g. setting all accounts of users under 16 years of age as private by default,” we read in a statement sent to TVN24 Biznes by the TikTok press office.
Reuters reported that TikTok introduced more stringent parental controls for using the “family pairing” feature in November 2020. In turn, in January 2021, the platform made all existing and new accounts “private” by default for people aged 13-15.
TikTok said it will begin rolling out a revised account registration process for new users ages 16 and 17 “later this month,” which will be initially set up as a “private account.”
The owner of the TikTok application is the Chinese company ByteDance.
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