The European Union is planning to issue a fine to TikTok in response to an investigation that revealed TikTok had breached child privacy laws.
According to a report from The Guardian, the European regulator opened an investigation into TikTok in 2021. The investigation has now reached a conclusion with the regulator adopting a “dispute resolution decision” after TikTok had submitted legal objections in Ireland. The investigation focused on how TikTok handles data for teens, especially those aged between 13 and 17. Following the investigation, the regulator found TikTok to be in breach of the children’s privacy laws.
Last month, TikTok had agreed to a voluntary stress test in Dublin, but the EU was not completely impressed, with EU technology commissioner, Thierry Breton saying the following:
TikTok is dedicating significant resources to compliance. Now it’s time to accelerate to be fully compliant.
With the investigation coming to a conclusion, TikTok has announced that the company will be releasing new features to comply with the EU’s Digital Services Act, with the company saying, “We will continue to not only meet our regulatory obligations but also strive to set new standards through innovative solutions”.
The latest ruling comes a couple of months after TikTok was hit with a £12.7 million (~$15.9 million) fine by the UK regulators for violating its own terms of service. During the investigation, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that TikTok had allowed 1.4 million kids under 13 years of age to access its social networking app.
TikTok has been constantly under a microscope with countries and companies banning the app from phones to protect confidential data. Recently, Montana became the first US state to completely ban the app. Tiktok as well as the creators based out of the state had sued the state for banning the app, noting that the ban infringes upon the fundamental right to free speech.
India had earlier issued a nationwide order to ban Chinese apps including TikTok in the country and the ban has been in effect since 2020.