TikTok faces probes in EU over transferring data to China and processing children’s information
- Ireland’s Data Protection Commission is investigating whether TikTok’s handling of personal data complies with the EU’s strict data protection law
- Another probe is examining the short video platform’s age verification and handling of data for minors
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which is lead EU regulator for many of the world’s top internet firms due to the location of their regional headquarters in Ireland, is allowed to impose fines of up to 4 per cent of global revenue.
The first of the probes relates “to the processing of personal data in the context of platform settings for users under age 18 and age verification measures for persons under 13”, the Data Protection Commission said in a statement.
The second probe will focus on transfers by TikTok of personal data to China and whether the company complies with EU data law in its transfers of personal data to countries outside the bloc, the statement said.
A spokesperson for TikTok said it had implemented extensive policies and controls to safeguard user data and relies on approved methods for data being transferred from Europe, such as standard contractual clauses.
“The privacy and safety of the TikTok community, particularly our youngest members, is our highest priority,” the spokesperson said.
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Ireland’s data watchdog earlier this month levied a record 225 million euro (US$265.64 million) fine on Facebook’s WhatsApp under the EU’s 2018 General Data Protection Regulation law (GDPR).
But the watchdog has faced criticism from other European regulators at the speed of its inquiries and the severeness of its sanctions.
The Irish regulator had 27 international inquiries in progress at the end of last year, including 14 into Facebook and its subsidiaries.