09-15-2023, 1:28 PM

Europe's strict privacy rules mean that TikTok has to pay a fine of $368 million

TikTok was fined $368 million by European officials on Friday for not protecting the privacy of children. This is the first time that the popular app for sharing short videos has been punished for breaking Europe's strict data privacy rules.

Ireland's Data Protection Commission, which is in charge of privacy for Big Tech companies whose European offices are often in Dublin, said it was fining TikTok 345 million euros and reprimanding the platform for violations that happened in the second half of 2020.

The study found that when teens signed up for the platform, their accounts were set to be public by default. This meant that anyone could see their videos and comment on them. These choices were also dangerous for kids under 13 who got on the platform even though they shouldn't have. 

Also, a "family pairing" tool meant for parents to manage settings wasn't strict enough, so adults could turn on direct messaging for users aged 16 and 17 without their permission. The watchdog said that it also pushed teen users to choose more "privacy intrusive" options when they signed up and posted videos. 

In a statement, TikTok said that it didn't agree with the decision, "especially the amount of the fine."

Over the past year, the Irish regulator has given big fines to tech giants like Instagram, WhatsApp, and their parent company, Meta.

Add comment