TikTok Has Paid €360 Million in Fines For Putting Children At Risk

The EU has been at the forefront of digital privacy regulation for quite some time now, and the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR for short, is the best example of that. Organizations have had to greatly alter the way they handle data because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing them to remain compliant to GDPR. In spite of the fact that this is the case, there have been at least 13 fines levied against organizations that skirted the rules.

Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp and X have faced fines that amounted to around 2.9 billion Euros. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that 4 out of these 13 fines had to do with the mishandling of children’s data by these firms. Meta alone had to pay out 2.6 billion from the total, which just goes to show that the Mark Zuckerberg owned company is refusing to comply with GDPR, preferring instead to pay fines as and when required.

However, TikTok seems to be the most egregious culprit as far as child related data mishandling is concerned. The first fine was levied in 2021 with all things having been considered and taken into account, when TikTok didn’t provide a privacy policy in Dutch. In 2022, Instagram became the second platform to receive such a fine. This happened due to the large number of business accounts owned by children which were set to public privacy settings by default, something that can put them at far more risk than might have been the case otherwise.

TikTok faced two more fines in 2023. The first of these was due to the platform allowing children under the age of 13 to create accounts, and the second was similar to Instagram’s in that children’s profiles were set to public. The lack of informed consent is the biggest issue here, and it has led to TikTok having to pay over 360 million Euros in fines.

Meanwhile, X paid the lowest in fines, amounting to just 450,000 Euros in total. Furthermore, platforms like YouTube, Reddit, Linked Pinterest and Snapchat were able to evade fines by complying with the regulations, which just goes to show that some companies are taking GDPR more seriously than others.

H/T: Surfshark

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