DUBLIN (Reuters) – The Irish data protection authority has opened two investigations into the Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok, related to the exploitation of the personal data of minors and data transfers to China.
The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), the main data protection authority in the European Union for many internet giants based in Ireland, can impose a fine of up to 4% of global turnover.
The first investigation relates to “the processing of personal data within the framework of the platform settings for users under 18 years of age and age verification measures for those under 13 years of age,” PCD said in a press release.
The second investigation concerns the exchange of personal data by TikTok to China and compliance with European legislation on transfers of this data to countries outside the EU, according to the statement.
A TikTok spokesperson said the company has extensive policies and controls in place to protect user data and relies on approved methods for data transfer from Europe.
“The privacy and security of the TikTok community, especially our younger members, is our top priority,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier this month, the Irish authority imposed a record € 225 million fine on the messaging app WhatsApp, a subsidiary of Facebook, linked to WhatsApp’s 2018 compliance issues with EU rules.
The supervisory authority has been criticized by other European regulators for the speed with which it carries out its investigations and the severity of its sanctions.
At the end of last year, the Irish regulator had 27 international investigations underway, including 14 into Facebook and its affiliates.
(Conor Humphries and Padraic Halpin report; French version Kate Entringer, edited by Blandine Hénault)