TikTok Fined €345 Million for Weak Protection of Children’s Personal Data
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) has fined the short-video service TikTok €345 million. The regulator concluded that the platform did not put forth sufficient efforts to safeguard the personal data of underage users. DPC had been investigating this matter since September 2021.
DPC’s investigation revealed that TikTok violated the EU’s existing data protection rules by defaulting to open profiles for all underage users. Consequently, any platform user could access the data of children, view their posted content, and send them messages.
In addition, DPC found that TikTok’s parental control feature, which allows parents to link their accounts to their child’s account, could be exploited by unauthorized individuals, potentially compromising the safety of underage users. The regulator examined the platform’s activity in the region from July 31 to December 31, 2020, during this investigation.
TikTok’s current fine marks the latest in a series of sanctions against social networks for weak data protection measures. Earlier this year, Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company, was fined €1.2 billion and issued an order to cease transferring user data from the EU to the US. In September of the previous year, DPC fined Meta’s subsidiary Instagram €405 million for its inability to protect children’s data.
Regarding TikTok, the platform has a monthly user base of 134 million people in the EU. The company expressed its disagreement with the regulator’s decision, particularly with the fine’s size.
- 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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