TikTok must pay a million-dollar fine for violating minor data law in the European Union

A regulator of the European Union imposed a fine this Friday of 345 million euros to the social network of Chinese capital TikTok for failing to comply data protection rules for minors, the latest in a series of sanctions against the technological giants.

TikTok Technology Limited will have to pay “administrative fines for a total of 345 million euros” (about 368 million dollars) and adjust your operations to comply with regulations within three months, announced in a press release the Irish Data Protection Commission (CPD).

This Irish regulatory body – which has a central role in ensuring compliance with European Union standards (EU) – opened an investigation in September of 2021 on the practices of this social network, a subsidiary of the Chinese giant ByteDance.

TikTok has 134 million users in the EU and this investigation covers practices between July 31 and December 31, 2020.

The regulator explained its decision by stating that the registration of minors 18 years old on the social network was done in a way that the accounts were defined as public by default.

Another problem detected by the organization is that a TikTok feature called “family connection,” that allows you to link the account from an adolescent to that of his parent, did not include proper verification of affiliation.

The regulatory authority analyzed the verification steps of TikTok to prevent the registration of minors under 13 years of agesy did not find any violations, but noted that the platform does not adequately evaluate the risks faced by the youngest children.

TikTok’s European headquarters is in Dublinwhere they also have their offices Google, Meta and the social network X, formerly known as Twitter.

In May, the CPD imposed a record fine of 1.2 billion euros on Meta for transferring user data from the EU to the United States, against a court ruling.

TikTok respectfully disagrees

TikTok responded to the fine by stating that it “respectfully” disagrees and who is “evaluating” how to proceed.

«CPD criticism focuses on functions and configurations that were in force three years ago, and that we changed even long before after the investigation began, How was it to configure all the accounts? of minors under 16 years of age were private by default,” a TikTok spokesperson told AFP.

The platform stressed that it carefully monitors the age of its users and takes the necessary measures and noted that it deleted almost 17 million accounts around the world in the first three months of this year due to suspicions that the users were under 13 years of age.

The Chinese-owned social network announced at the beginning of September that began to host the data of its European users in Ireland.

Earlier this month, Social media giant opens long-promised data center in Irelandas he had promised in an attempt to allay fears about privacy.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) adopted by the EU in 2018 It is the toughest law on technology issues and ensures that citizens give their consent to the ways in which their data is used.