TikTok, the social media giant, has recently been hit with a staggering fine of 345 million euros by an EU regulatory body. The fine is a result of a breach in children’s data protection laws. But what does this mean for the tech industry at large? Read on to find out more about the implications of this landmark case.
The fine was imposed by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) after a two-year investigation. The DPC found that TikTok had set accounts for users under 16 to ‘public’ by default back in 2020. This exposed minors to potential risks online.
Another point of contention was TikTok’s “family pairing” feature. This feature was designed to link parents’ accounts with their children’s. However, the DPC found that TikTok did not adequately verify whether the user was actually a parent or guardian, leading to further risks.
This case sets a precedent for tech companies, especially those dealing with user data. It serves as a warning that regulatory bodies are watching closely and are willing to impose hefty fines for non-compliance.
TikTok has expressed disagreement with the DPC’s decision and is currently considering its next steps. This could potentially lead to a legal battle, further complicating the tech industry’s relationship with regulatory bodies.
This case is not an isolated incident. Earlier, Meta, the company behind Facebook, was also fined 1.2 billion euros for transferring user data from the EU to the USA in violation of a court ruling.
The company has been given three months to comply with the regulations. Failure to do so could result in additional penalties, making this a crucial period for TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance.
The TikTok fine serves as a wake-up call for tech companies to be more vigilant about user data, especially that of minors. With regulatory bodies tightening the noose, it’s high time companies took data protection seriously.