European regulators hit the China-owned app TikTok with a $368 million fine on Friday for failing to protect children’s privacy on the platform. This is reportedly first time that the Chinese app has been punished over Europe’s strict data privacy rules.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, the lead privacy regulator for Big Tech companies, said it is fining TikTok €345 million — which comes to roughly $368 million — over violations stemming from the second half of 2020, according to a report by Associated Press.
TikTok has been accused of setting their system up so that whenever teen users signed up for the Chinese app, their profiles were set to public by default, allowing anyone to view and comment on their videos.
Those default settings also pose a risk to children under the age of 13 who had created accounts on the platform, even though they are not permitted to do so.
Moreover, TikTok’s “family pairing” feature — meant for parents to manage the settings on their kids’ accounts — was not strict enough, the European investigation found.
TikTok said it disagrees with the decision, “particularly the level of the fine imposed.”
“Most of the decision’s criticisms are no longer relevant as a result of measures we introduced at the start of 2021 — several months before the investigation began,” TikTok’s head of privacy for Europe, Elaine Fox, said.
The regulators are still carrying out a second investigation into whether TikTok complied with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation when it transferred users’ personal information to China, Associated Press reported.
As Breitbart News previously reported, TikTok, owned by a hostile foreign country, has proven itself to be quite troublesome.
The app’s parent company, ByteDance, has been caught snooping on U.S. and UK journalists in multiple instances. TikTok has also shown itself to be a danger to kids and teens, a national security threat, and having meddled in U.S. elections.
Last month, a poll found that nearly half of American adults support a ban of TikTok.
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.
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