TikTok fined €345m for breaking EU data law on children’s accounts


A European Union regulator fined Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok 345 million euros over child data breaches on Friday.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission announced in a statement that it had imposed a “administrative fine” of $369 million for the violations it found during a two-year investigation.

TikTok was given three months by the agency “to bring its processing into compliance” with its standards.

Ireland’s DPC is crucial to enforcing the stringent General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) of the EU.

In September 2021, the watchdog started investigating TikTok’s adherence to GDPR in relation to platform settings and the handling of personal data for users under the age of 18.

It also examined TikTok’s age verification policies for users under the age of 13 and found no violations, but it also concluded that the company had not adequately considered the hazards associated with younger users signing up for the site.

In its decision on Friday, the DPC emphasized how when minors signed up for TikTok, their accounts were automatically turned to public, allowing anybody to view and comment on their video.

The “family pairing” feature of TikTok, which links parents’ accounts to those of their adolescent children, was also criticized, although the DPC determined the company did not confirm parent or guardian status.

Because TikTok, Google, Meta, and X, previously Twitter, have their European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland is at the center of the GDPR rule.

With 150 million users in the US and 134 million in the EU, TikTok, a spinoff of Chinese internet giant ByteDance, is very well-liked among young people.

In reaction to the penalties imposed on Friday, TikTok stated that it “respectfully disagrees” with the ruling and was “evaluating” its next course of action.

“The DPC’s criticisms are focused on features and settings that were in place three years ago, and that we made changes to well before the investigation even began, such as setting all under-16 accounts to private by default,” a TikTok spokeswoman said.

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