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TikTok’s Breach of Child Privacy Rights Potential Multi-Million Euro Fine

By August 1, 2023 August 12th, 2023 No Comments

Video-sharing app TikTok faces a substantial fine within the next few weeks for violating children’s privacy, with the penalty expected to be in the hundreds of millions of euros. The investigation into the company’s practices has been ongoing for two years, focusing on how it processes children’s personal data.

Slow Pace of Decision-Making Process

TikTok has not yet commented on the case or the expected size of the fine. The investigation dates back to September 2021 and centres on the platform’s settings for child users’ personal data and age verification measures. The European board’s decision-making process has been criticized for its slow pace.

With over 1 billion users, TikTok has become a global sensation thanks to its three-minute limit on viral dance videos, comedy skits, and lip-sync routines. Despite its success, however, the company is now under scrutiny for breaching children’s privacy and transferring personal data to China, which may have violated European Union laws.

The dispute over the proposed penalties by Irish data protection Commissioner Helen Dixon has been resolved at a meeting of European regulators in Brussels, paving the way for the fine to be imposed on TikTok in the coming month.

Precedent Set By Similar GDPR Breaches

The size of the sanction is likely to be in line with the penalties imposed on Meta, the owner of Facebook, for GDPR breaches, which amount to €2.5 billion in total. The scale of these penalties sets a precedent for the TikTok case as regulators try to hold big tech companies accountable for their use of personal data.

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was introduced in 2018 to give sweeping powers to data protection authorities to supervise tech companies’ operations within the EU. However, penalties must be approved by fellow regulators, often leading to delays and challenges in imposing fines.

Overall, TikTok is facing a significant penalty for its violations of children’s privacy, and the outcome may have broader implications for other tech giants. The case highlights the challenges of enforcing GDPR regulations effectively and swiftly in an increasingly data-driven world.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*

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