News Update


TikTok was fined €345 million for violating the privacy of children’s data.

The complaint centered on how the social media app handled children’s data in 2020, specifically age verification and privacy settings.

It is the largest fine TikTok has gotten from regulators to date.

The social media company “respectfully disagree[s] with the decision, particularly the level of the fine imposed,” according to a spokeswoman.

“The 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 accounts under 16 to private by default,” they added.

The sanction was imposed by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) in accordance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

GDPR establishes the regulations that businesses must follow while processing data.

TikTok was deemed to have not been honest enough with minors about its privacy settings, and the DPC highlighted concerns about how their data was processed.

An inquiry into whether TikTok illegally transferred data from the EU to China is still ongoing. ByteDance, a Beijing-based company, owns TikTok.

European penalties

Despite being in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the fine is actually less than other penalties seen in recent months, such as the €1.2 billion (£1 billion) that Meta received from the regulator in May for mishandling people’s data when transporting it between Europe and the United States.

It is, however, far greater than the £12.7m fine TikTok received from the UK data authority in April for allowing children under the age of 13 to use the platform in 2020.

The DPC fine clearly mentions 2020, and TikTok took various steps to become more compliant in the years since.

In January 2021, it will be one of the first social media platforms to make accounts for 13 to 15-year-olds private by default


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