The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has Notice the initiation of an investigation against TikTok on September 14th according to the GDPR. The Irish Data Protection Agency suspects that the world’s most popular social network is sending irregular data to China and does not adequately protect the data of minors.
Sending data to China, the great concern
According to the European regulation, a digital service cannot transfer its data to a third country if this is as protected as the European Union (EU) or if it is adequately protected. The DPC suspects TikTok, owned by ByteDance, of failing to comply with this policy.
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A spokesman for the motion denied any wrongdoing and said he had relied on it. on approved mechanisms for data transferred outside of Europe “.
The same suspicion prompted the Trump administration to attempt to ban the app from the United States. Ironically, with the EU Court of Justice repealing the Privacy Shield in July 2020, Europe does not see the country as a safe travel destination either.
Donald Trump’s successor Joe Biden has temporarily suspended the prohibition hypothesis. An investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has been confirmed to ensure that TikTok does not pose a risk to the country’s national security.
The protection of minors has priority
The second part of the DPC procedure concerns the processing of the data of minors who are on the platform and the ban on access for minors under 13 years of age. A risk particularly feared by European data protection authorities.
According to the company ” important measures “Have been implemented” to protect our users’ data “And especially the youngest. In January 2021, all accounts under the age of 16 were automatically privatized, and new measures to protect minors were announced in August. TikTok regularly highlights the deletion thresholds of accounts for children under the age of 13.
There is work: In the US, TikTok paid $ 1.1 million in 2019 to exploit the data of 6 million children. The app was forced to delete tens of thousands of suspect minors’ accounts in Italy after being suspended by the local data protection agency in January 2021. In April 2021, the former UK Childhood Commissioner filed a complaint.
TikTok, a European question
After all, the CNIL and its Dutch counterpart have been investigating TikTok’s data protection management since 2020. The world reports that a working group has been set up at European level to coordinate the issue of minors’ data sent to China.
The Irish authorities’ investigations are little more than a simple procedure. The DPC plays a special role in Europe: Thanks to its attractive taxation, Ireland is home to many European headquarters of digital giants, including TikTok. The DPC is therefore regularly at the forefront of enforcing the GDPR and, if necessary, condemning unruly companies. The Irish authority is at the center of criticism for its negligence, so the TikTok investigation is being scrutinized across the continent. The application risks a fine of up to 4% of sales.