The Data Protection Commission in Ireland, which is the leading EU regulator for many of the world’s top internet companies due to their regional headquarters location in Ireland, is allowed to impose fines of up to 4% of global revenue.
Tiktok has announced strict privacy controls for teens, which has been criticized for failing to protect children from hidden advertising and inappropriate content.
Owned by China’s Bite Dance, TickTock has grown rapidly around the world, especially among teenagers.
The Data Protection Commission said in a statement that “the probe relates to the processing of personal data in terms of platform settings for users under 18 and age verification measures for individuals under 13.”
The second investigation will focus on the transfer of personal data to China via TikTok and whether the company has complied with EU data legislation to transfer personal data to countries outside the bloc, the statement said.
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A TickTock spokesman said it has implemented comprehensive policies and controls to protect user data and relies on approved methods for transferring data from Europe, such as the standard agreement clause.
“The privacy and security of the Tiktok community, especially our youngest members, is our top priority,” the spokesperson said.
Ireland’s Data Watchdog recovered a fine of 225 million euros ($ 265.64 million) from Facebook’s WhatsApp under the EU’s 2018 General Data Protection Regulation Law (GDPR) earlier this month.
But the Watchdog has faced criticism from other European regulators over the speed of its investigation and the severity of its restrictions.
The Irish regulator said 27 international inquiries were in progress at the end of last year, including 14 of Facebook and its subsidiaries.