TikTok's GDPR Violations and Fines
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European officials determined that TikTok breached GDPR regulations concerning the processing of minors' data. The penalty for this infringement was a hefty €345 million ($368 million). The Irish Data Protection Commission, where TikTok's headquarters and main data center are situated, looked into TikTok's privacy measures for users aged 13 to 17 during the latter half of 2020.
The investigation unveiled that TikTok set profiles of this age group to public as a default, making their information and videos easily accessible for anyone to comment or view. Additionally, TikTok did not require these young users to opt into the Duet and Stitch features, permitting others to utilize parts of their content. The platform also paired minor's accounts with adults without ascertaining the relationship between them, and even allowed the adult to activate direct messaging for both users. Such a feature should have been restricted for underage users.
Earlier, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) imposed a £12.7 million ($15.75 million) fine on TikTok for allowing 1.4 million UK kids below 13 to register. While the Irish Commission did not delve into whether TikTok breached GDPR rules concerning registrations of kids under 13, it concluded that TikTok failed to take adequate precautions, making content accessible to all age groups, including those aged 12 and under.
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