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More Trouble For TikTok As Company Refuses To Adopt Planned Changes In Its Privacy Policy

Things aren’t looking too bright for the social media app TikTok as the company has decided to halt its planned changes made to its privacy policy.

In case you didn’t know, TikTok is under great scrutiny in a number of countries regarding what it does with user data and how it could potentially be breaching users’ privacy. On that note, we heard about the firm making some much-needed amendments to its privacy policy and data collection protocols.

Now, the latest news to come out from TikTok is that all such planned changes have reportedly been aborted. These changes were specified to be related to user insights regarding targeted advertising.

The reason being outlined has to do with so many people raising questions about whether or not the change was even legal, to begin with, keeping in mind the great number of provisions provided by the European Union recently.

In June of this year, TikTok appeared to be busy showing a number of EU countries some innovative in-app alerts that would inform them about any new changes regarding data collection.

The firm revealed the information in the form of pop-up alerts that would now be resorting to people’s actual interests as the legal foundation for personalizing its ads. This was stated to be much less invasive and explicit in terms of getting consent directly for making use of user data within the whole ad specifying process.

But the whole problem began with the terms ‘legitimate interests’ where the label is related to a whole new meaning in the EU in terms of tracking user data. This way, the app would again no longer need to take users’ explicit consent into consideration, and hence the details would be used by the app for their own gains.

That goes against the EU’s newly issued directives which say that people need to be given a greater amount of control regarding how their data is being used.

However, it is known that the label of legitimate interest can be used in industries like the media which make use of certain types of content with references that are stated to be in the best interest of the public. But in terms of targeted advertising, we don’t think TikTok would be able to have gotten away with that.

This is why the company was recently seen issuing a statement to the public which mentioned that they would be pausing the new update until a pending investigation by the EU is over.

In addition to that, TikTok says personalized ads are designed to bring out the greatest in-app experience for users and the community. It is also referred to as a great practice used in the industry. Therefore, TikTok hopes to address many concerns on the issue with relevant stakeholders involved with hopes of a fruitful end result.

In reality, we believe even TikTok knows well that this is not what the term legitimate interest means and clearly not what it was intentionally designed for. But despite its efforts to get away with things, it’s not having to stop and rethink its plans and policies before regulators come running back with more fines and restrictions.


Read next: TikTok Is Giving Advertisers More Control Over Their Content With Inventory Filters

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