The European Union to Scrutinize Tiktok’s Privacy and Data Processing Practices

Last updated by   Mahrukh Rubab
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The European Union to Scrutinize Tiktok’s Privacy and Data Processing Practices

The well known video-sharing application TikTok has fallen into hot water over security and privacy concerns, again.

On Friday, June 10, a gathering of security advocates documented an objection with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), claiming that the Chinese video app does not do enough to ensure youngsters’ protection.

The complaint affirmed that TikTok violated a past concurrence with the FTC. It had promised to evacuate all recordings recently uploaded by users younger than 13 alongside putting forth more grounded attempts to demand parental assent when gathering kids’ private information.

TikTok and Kids’ Privacy

The video-sharing application is under scrutiny in the EU for how it handles its young users’ individual information and whether it efficiently organizes the security of teenagers.

Notably, the short video application TikTok faces new administrative investigations in Europe after the national security concerns got sparked up in the U.S.

As per the Privacy Policy of TikTok, when a user is underage, the platform records and keeps “Limited Information,” including birthday, password, and username.

The platform’s Privacy Policy indicates it may also gather information identified with the user’s device, including virtual worlds or other system movement data, for example, IP address, browser type, device ID and version, alongside application activity data; for example, general usage data, time spent on the application and videos watched.

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has set up a team to study the ByteDance-run application’s information handling exercises and data protection practices.

European Parliament Member Sets Sights on TikTok

The EDPB said its move responds to concerns raised by Moritz Korner, the European Parliament member, over potential TikTok security and protection crises.

In November last year, a letter was submitted to the European Parliament. In that report, Korner referred to a 2019 U.S. penalty of $5.7 million against the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok for an illicit assortment of individual data from kids.

He queried whether the European Commission had stayed in contact with The European Data Protection Board over TikTok’s potential safety dangers following a move by the U.S. to examine ByteDance’s 2017 purchase of US-based social application Musical.ly.

Responding to Moritz Korner’s letter, the EDPB noted in an explanation that it previously deployed rules for all organizations subject to the General Information Security Guideline (GDPR).

The guidelines’ significance was underscored by the privacy watchdog, particularly regarding the exchange of individual information to nations outside the European Union and minors’ information processing.

Owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, TikTok lets users create short videos of any kind and has witnessed its popularity climb amid the COVID-19 crisis.

More than 2 billion people worldwide have downloaded the app thus far, which makes it the number one non-game application concerning the number of downloads, as per Sensor Tower’s estimations.

As per the Sensor Tower data, in 2019, $11 million was spent on European users’ applications.

TikTok Constantantly Riddled with Privacy Concerns

Before the EDPB’s exercise, European controllers raised worries about TikTok’s probable dangers to users’ security.

Last month, in May 2020, the DDPA (Dutch Data Protection Authority) propelled an examination concerning the application to analyze whether or not the information the infamous video-sharing app presents when youngsters install and use it is straightforward and appropriately clarifies how the app uses and processes their personal data after collecting it.

Specialists are also looking at whether the application needs parental approval for TikTok to gather and use teenage users’ information.

In response to the rising privacy tensions, the popular video app seems to have started its homework already. A few days ago, on June 9, TikTok announced to boost its security team via a blog post.

According to its Chief Information Security Officer, Roland Cloutier, TikTok plans to hire one hundred privacy, security, and data protection experts in the US alone by the end of 2020.


Featured image via Pixabay.

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About the author

Mahrukh Rubab
Mahrukh Rubab

Mahrukh Rubab likes to cover the privacy and security topics, and sometimes, streaming. Her entertainment dosage includes Instagram and TikTok. As for music, Sufi tracks keep her enchanted for the most part.

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