Ireland has imposed a penalty of €345 million on TikTok due to its inadequate measures regarding the privacy of children.
Irish authorities stated that the popular social media company mishandled the data of children in 2020, particularly concerning age verification and privacy settings.
The Data Protection Commission of Ireland imposed a fine based on the European Union’s privacy laws known as GDPR. They stated that TikTok had not provided sufficient transparency to children regarding their privacy settings and how their data was being handled.
This fine is the largest amount TikTok has ever been ordered to pay by any regulatory authorities so far.
TikTok responded by expressing their disagreement with the decision, specifically mentioning their dissatisfaction with the amount of the fine that was imposed.
The criticisms are specifically targeting aspects and configurations that were implemented three years ago, and we had already made modifications to them long before the investigation commenced.
It was mentioned that accounts for children below the age of 15 will now be automatically private, and this new setting will soon also apply to 16 and 17-year-olds.
Authorities in Europe are additionally examining whether TikTok, a social media platform operated by the Chinese company Bytedance, engaged in unauthorized data transfers from the European Union to China.
Penalties for the inappropriate use of data have experienced a recent increase due to global regulators taking strict action against companies that utilize data without consent or for questionable intentions.
In the UK, TikTok received a penalty of £12.7m this year because they permitted children below 13 years old to access their platform last year.
In May, Meta, the owner of Facebook, was fined €1.2bn (£1bn) for the unauthorized transfer of data from Europe to the US.