TikTok has been fined 345 million euros (368 million U.S. dollars) by Irish data protection authorities following an investigation into the handling of user data from minors.
The agency said on Friday that the investigation, which ran from the end of July 2020 to the end of December 2020, focused on some of the video app’s settings as well as the age check during registration.
Posts such as videos by users between the ages of 13 and 17 could be published for all to see, according to a default setting.
The commenting function in the profiles was also accessible to all other users by default.
TikTok said the investigation’s findings primarily refered to settings that were valid three years ago.
“Most of those results are no longer relevant due to measures we put in place before the investigation began.
“These included setting all accounts for users under the age of 16 to private by default,” he said.
In addition to the fine, TikTok was ordered to bring its data processing in line with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) within three months.
In May, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission slapped Meta with a record fine of 1.2 billion euros.
TikTok is in the process of moving European users’ data to new data centres in Ireland and Norway.
By the end of 2024, European user data would be transferred and stored at these centres by default.
TikTok is trying to gain trust in Europe with the plan under the name “Project Clover.”
The video app has a difficult political standing in the West because it belongs to the Chinese corporation Bytedance.
The European Commission and several European governments have banned the use of the app on the mobile phones of their employees.
With “Project Clover,” TikTok says it wants to guarantee that access to personal data of European users is strictly regulated and transparent. (dpa/NAN