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TikTok Punished With Hefty Fine From France For Breaking Cookie Consent Rules

France has issued a mega fine to leading social media giant TikTok for breaking rules regarding cookie consent.

The actions were portrayed by the French Data Protection watchdog which schooled the app in a major manner through a penalty worth 5 million Euros. This was announced today thanks to the CNIL who detailed a little about the current cookie consent flow in place. This was on TikTok’s own website and continued until last year.

During this point in time, the regulator found that it wasn’t easy for any users to refuse the cookies as simply as it was to accept them. So when you come to think of it, it’s a great or deceiving way to have your consent manipulated by allowing site visitors to accept the tracking than bidding it farewell.

This was the same case seen when the watchdog opted to check in on the app’s entire process in 2021. This was until the button called Refuse All arose on the website in February of last year.

Moreover, we’re seeing this resolve and it may go on to explain how the small fine is levied along the lines, alongside the great number of users as well as minors being affected. This includes enforcing people to visit TikTok’s website and not the actual mobile application.

As it is, tracking cookies are usually used for the likes of behavioral advertising. But you can also use that for the sake of other forms of activity like analytics.

The CNIL mentioned how a check was conducted in 2021 and that’s when it was seen how firms such as those linked to the app in Ireland and the UK did provide buttons for allowing cookies immediately. They were not putting any equivalent button to enable users to say no, just as simple as saying yes.

In reality, a few clicks were required to say no to all cookies, against a single one denoted to say yes to all of them. This was strongly highlighted and criticized by the French watchdog through a recent press release.

But it does not end there, the CNIL witnessed how TikTok failed to inform its users in an intricate manner regarding what the purpose of cookies actually was. And that according to them is another mega breach of Article number 82.

The new enforcement by the French was undertaken by the EU’s ePrivacy Directive. This is unlike the GDPR and hence doesn’t need complaints affecting users to be cross-checked with a leading data supervisor in the EU.

To us, it appears that this move by the French to conduct a clean-up for cookie consent seems to be an integral added tool to slow the pace of cross-border GDPR enforcement. Moreover, if tracking and profiling through ad giants are now going to be carried out and rely on the likes of getting user consent to run the likes of behavioral advertising, it’s going to be pivotal that the right consent gets gathered and is free of cost and very fair in design. This means being free from all sorts of manipulations by putting ahead design tricks.


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