According to some recent pieces of information, TikTok has been fined €345 million. Reportedly, the platform has been fined by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) for mishandling children’s data. The platform was investigated for violating European privacy laws, termed GDPR.
The company has responded by disagreeing with the decision and the amount of the imposed fine. According to the company, DPC is referring to features and settings that are 3 years old. For two big reasons, DPC has criticized TikTok. First and foremost, TikTok was criticized for enabling users in the age range of 13 to 17 to make their accounts public by default. The content of these users was visible to everyone on the platform without the user’s consent.
In addition to this, the “Family Pairing” feature of TikTok, which enables parents to connect with and monitor their child’s account, was scrutinized by the DPC. TikTok did not confirm whether the “parent” account actually belonged to the teenager’s parent, which raised questions about control and possible connections to unreliable adults.
TikTok responds to the imposed fine
According to the company’s head of privacy for Europe, Elaine Fox, the company will evaluate its response to the fine and order. According to Fox, users have full control over selecting their account status as public or private. The company claims that in January 2021, all teenager’s accounts (13 to 15 years old) were set as private by default by the company. It was months before the DPC investigation began. Besides this, the company introduced several other changes to improve the privacy of young users.
In addition to this, Fox mentioned in the blog post that a refurbished account registration process will be rolled out for 16- and 17-year-old users that will imply the private account option as the default for such accounts. Earlier this year, TikTok was fined $15 million by the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The company was fined for not taking actions that prohibit children under 13 from using TikTok without parental control.
Brian is the news author at Research Snipers which mainly covers Technology News, Microsoft News, Google News, Facebook, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, and other tech news.