TikTok faces GDPR probe over children’s data and China transfers

TikTok Inc updates

The Irish knowledge commissioner has launched investigations into TikTok over its dealing with of kids’s knowledge and alleged switch of person data to China, marking the newest regulatory considerations over the favored video app.

Eire’s Information Safety Fee, which oversees the enforcement of the EU’s Normal Information Safety Regulation within the nation, introduced on Tuesday that it might look at the corporate’s processing of private knowledge for underneath 18-year-olds, together with the corporate’s age-verification measures for under-13s.

A second inquiry will look at TikTok’s alleged transfers of private knowledge to China.

Corporations could be fined as much as 4 per cent of annual world revenues, or €20m, for GDPR breaches. ByteDance reported annual revenues of $34.3bn in 2020, a rise of 111 per cent from the earlier 12 months. TikTok is within the strategy of opening an EU headquarters in Dublin.

“We’ve applied in depth insurance policies and controls to safeguard person knowledge and depend on permitted strategies for knowledge being transferred from Europe, corresponding to commonplace contractual clause,” the corporate mentioned, including that it might co-operate with the Irish regulator.

The investigations got here as TikTok, which soared in popularity amongst youngsters throughout pandemic-related lockdowns, battles nationwide safety and privacy concerns worldwide

Joe Biden’s administration is reviewing former president Donald Trump’s efforts to ban the app as a risk to nationwide safety amid wider fears that Chinese language firms might share Americans’ knowledge with Beijing for espionage functions.

TikTok has mentioned it doesn’t share American user data with the Chinese language authorities. ByteDance held talks final 12 months with a number of firms, together with Microsoft and Oracle, over a possible sale of its US operations in an effort to resolve its tensions with Washington.

Individually, TikTok has been sued for a number of billion kilos for allegedly illegally accumulating the private data of thousands and thousands of kids within the UK and Europe. The declare, which is backed by Anne Longfield, the previous kids’s commissioner of England, argues that kids’s knowledge was collected with out adequate consent — which for underage customers would have to be given by an grownup — or transparency.

TikTok denied the claims, arguing that it had “strong insurance policies” in place to “defend all customers, and our teenage customers specifically”.

The app has additionally confronted child privacy complaints within the US. ByteDance was fined $5.7m in 2019 by the Federal Commerce Fee for illegally accumulating kids’s knowledge.

In July, TikTok was fined €750,000 by the Dutch Information Safety Authority for violating the privateness of kid customers. The regulator argued that by not publishing its privateness insurance policies in Dutch, the app failed to offer “an sufficient clarification of how the app collects, processes and makes use of private knowledge” for youthful customers who don’t communicate English.

The platform has additionally been underneath investigation by the UK Info Commissioner’s Workplace since 2019 over its dealing with of kids’s knowledge. TikTok mentioned it might work with the investigation.

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