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Ireland investigates TikTok over child, China data concerns

In this Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 filer, a logo of a smartphone app TikTok is seen on a user post on a smartphone screen, in Tokyo. TikTok is facing two EU data privacy investigations, one into its handling of children’s personal data and another over its data transfers to China. Ireland’s data privacy watchdog, which is TikTok’s lead regulator in the European Union, said Tuesday that it has started two inquiries to examine whether the popular short video app has breached stringent EU data privacy regulations. Credit: AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File

TikTok is facing two EU data privacy investigations, one into its handling of children’s personal data and another over its data transfers to China.

Ireland’s data privacy watchdog, which is TikTok’s lead regulator in the European Union, said Tuesday that it has started two inquiries to examine whether the popular short video app has breached stringent EU data privacy regulations.

The Data Protection Commission’s first investigation will look at whether TikTok complies with the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, when it handles children’s data, including the platform’s settings for people under 18 and age verification measures for kids under 13.

The second investigation focuses on whether TikTok complies with GDPR when it transfers data to China, where its owner, ByteDance, is based. TikTok has faced accusations that it’s a security risk because it sends user data to China.

TikTok said it will fully cooperate with the commission’s investigation.

“The privacy and safety of the TikTok community, particularly our youngest members, is a top priority,” the company said in a press statement. “We’ve implemented extensive policies and controls to safeguard user data and rely on approved methods for data being transferred from Europe.”


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