TikTok Fined €345 Million by EU for Violations in Handling Minors’ Personal Data

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Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has fined short video platform TikTok €345 million for violations related to the processing of children’s personal data. The regulator initiated its investigation in 2021 to examine TikTok’s compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In August, Politico reported that the Irish commission was preparing to fine TikTok.

The investigation focused on TikTok features such as default account settings, family pairing mode, and age verification. Following consultations with the European Data Protection Board, the regulator found that TikTok, by default, made children’s accounts public, allowing all users of the service to view the content created by minors.

TikTok introduced family pairing in 2020, a feature that allows linking children’s accounts to separate parent or guardian accounts to manage app settings, including usage time limits, direct messaging restrictions, and inappropriate content filters.

The commission found that children’s accounts could be linked to adult profiles that were not those of their parents or guardians.

According to the regulator, TikTok’s age verification methods were not in violation of GDPR, but the company failed to provide sufficient privacy protection for children under the age of 13 who managed to register on the platform.

In 2021, TikTok tightened privacy settings for users aged 13 to 15 by making their accounts private by default. The platform has three months to align its practices with the requirements.

In the spring of 2023, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office fined TikTok £12.7 million for violations related to the storage and processing of data of underage users. The company allowed approximately 1.4 million British children under the age of 13 to use the platform, despite its own rules prohibiting children from creating accounts.

Author Profile

Vasyl Kolomiiets
Vasyl Kolomiiets
I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.

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