TikTok Fined €345m Irish Privacy Regulator over Children’s Data Processing

TikTok Fined €345m Irish Privacy Regulator over Children’s Data Processing

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TikTok has been fined €345m Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) for its handling of children’s personal data in the European Union. The investigation focused on default profile settings, age verification, and transparency information for users aged 13 to 17. The DPC’s decision was announced after a dispute resolution process with the European Data Protection Board (EDPB). EDPB chair Anu Talus emphasized that social media companies have a responsibility to avoid presenting unfair choices to users, especially children, and potentially violate their privacy rights.

TikTok has disagreed with the decision and level of the fine imposed the DPC. The company argues that the criticisms are based on features and settings that were in place three years ago and have since been changed, such as setting all under-16 accounts to private default. In a blog post TikTok’s head of privacy in Europe, Elaine Fox, the company detailed the actions it has taken to address the issues raised in the investigation. TikTok also highlighted its efforts to remove underage accounts, reporting that nearly 17 million such accounts were removed globally in the first three months of 2023 alone.

While the €345m fine is significant, it should be noted that TikTok’s global revenues in 2022 were close to $10 billion. This is not the first time TikTok has faced regulatory action related to children’s privacy. Earlier this year, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office fined the company £12.7m for misusing children’s data, specifically focusing on under-13s. In 2019, TikTok paid $5.7m in a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission concerning its predecessor app Musical·ly.

TikTok is among several tech companies that have faced fines for privacy violations. Amazon, Meta, Spotify, Epic Games, and Instagram have all been subject to regulatory action related to privacy concerns, either involving children or adult data. The response from these companies often includes emphasizing the improvements they have made and their commitment to user safety.

The music industry is also affected these developments. Music companies use social media platforms like TikTok to advertise and market, while artists drive fans, including teenagers and children, to these services. As regulations and scrutiny increase, it is important for the music industry to stay informed about privacy and data protection issues in the digital landscape.

– https://www.musically.com/2023/08/23/tiktok-fined-e345m-by-irish-privacy-regulator-over-childrens-data-processing/
– The Data Protection Commission (DPC)
– The European Data Protection Board (EDPB)
– The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
– The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC)