The app's Chinese owners are under scrutiny from a privacy watchdog. By September, the European Union will have fined TikTok for violating users' privacy.
The internet is moving faster than ever and tech companies face challenges to keep up.
In 2021, the Irish data regulator began investigating whether or not TikTok was protecting the privacy of minors in accordance with the standards of the EU's groundbreaking privacy legislation, GDPR. This dispute, which had been mostly forgotten, is suddenly back in the spotlight.
According to those familiar with the situation, TikTok will be hit with a privacy fine in early September for the way it has handled the personal information of minors.
Apparent mishandling of young user data
On Wednesday, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), a network of national privacy authorities, addressed conflicts between agencies investigating the video-sharing site used by 125 million users in Europe.
They have set in motion a procedure that will give the Irish Data Protection Commission, TikTok's primary privacy regulator in the EU, one month to impose the final penalty and any possible actions. The fine amount and specifics are still unclear.
In 2021, the Irish data regulator began investigating whether or not TikTok was protecting the privacy of minors in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU's significant privacy legislation — which other tech firms have struggled with.
Problematic age-verification processes
The Irish government sought to make sure that the Chinese-owned app took enough precautions to safeguard privacy for children with its default settings and that the firm was forthcoming about the information it collected from youngsters.
TikTok's age-verification measures, which aim to keep users under the age of 13 off the network, have been one of the most contentious issues. Since TikTok's EU headquarters is located in Ireland, it falls within the purview of the Irish Data Protection Commission.
After having disputes with its German and Italian colleagues, the Irish DPC sent the issue to the EDPB in May.
A representative from TikTok said that they were unable to respond since they had not yet seen the final judgement.
Find out which low-cost VPN providers are currently trusted.