© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken on January 6, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration
DUBLIN (Reuters) -TikTok’s top data privacy regulator in the European Union has opened two investigations into the Chinese-owned short video platform related to the processing of children’s personal data and transfers of personal data to China.
The Irish Data Protection Commission, which is the main EU regulator for many of the world’s leading internet companies due to the location of its regional headquarters in Ireland, can impose fines of up to 4% of global revenue. .
In August, TikTok announced stricter privacy controls for teens, seeking to address criticism that it has failed to protect children from hidden advertising and inappropriate content.
Owned by China’s ByteDance, TikTok has grown rapidly around the world, especially among teenagers.
The first of the investigations relates “to the processing of personal data in the context of the configuration of the platform for users under 18 years of age and age verification measures for persons under 13 years of age,” said the Commission for the Protection of Data in a statement.
The second investigation will focus on TikTok’s transfers of personal data to China and whether the company complies with EU data law in its transfers of personal data to countries outside the block, according to the statement.
A TikTok spokesperson said it had implemented extensive policies and controls to safeguard user data and relies on approved methods for data transfer from Europe, such as standard contractual clauses.
“The privacy and security of the TikTok community, particularly our younger members, is our highest priority,” the spokesperson said.
Ireland’s data watchdog earlier this month imposed a record 225 million euros ($ 265.64 million) fine on Facebook’s WhatsApp (NASDAQ 🙂 under the General Data Protection Regulation act. 2018 EU Data (GDPR).
But the watchdog has faced criticism from other European regulators for the speed of its investigations and the severity of its sanctions.
The Irish regulator had 27 ongoing international inquiries at the end of last year, including 14 on Facebook and its subsidiaries.
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