EU Launches Investigation into TikTok and YouTube’s Child Protection Policies

The EU has been at the forefront of regulations surrounding tech platforms, with the GDPR being a particularly relevant example of its efforts on this front. It turns out that the European Commission has just launched a new investigation into YouTube and TikTok. They’re seeking to obtain more knowledge about the platform’s policies pertaining to the protection of minors, which represents the first probe that has been initiated as part of its new data protection laws.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the Digital Services Act was implemented in order to keep children safer than might have been the case otherwise. It requires platforms to comply with regulations that can safeguard the mental and physical wellbeing of minors, something that has often fallen by the wayside in recent years.

If the commission finds any violations over the course of its investigation, YouTube and TikTok may be forced to pay fines that would amount to 6% of their annual global revenues with all things having been considered and taken into account. Considering that TikTok is extremely popular among younger users, this investigation will be critical to understand what sort of impact it can have on the mental health of children.

The last date by which the companies under investigation can respond is November 30th. It will be interesting to see where things go from here on out, because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up setting a precedent for the future. When the investigation was announced on Thursday, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew referred to it as a positive step in the right direction.

The EU is already investigating Meta as well as X, formerly known as Twitter, for alleged misinformation in the aftermath of the October 7th attacks by Hamas against Israel. This new investigation has a broader focus, and it could potentially lead to even stricter regulation if the commission finds that these platforms are not taking the safety of children as seriously as they are supposed to.

AliExpress is also facing a probe. The ecommerce giant has seen instances of fake goods and even counterfeit medicines being sold, so it will be essential for the company to clean up shop as soon as possible.

EU's latest tech regulation move investigates YouTube, TikTok on minor protection, setting potential industry precedents.

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