TikTok under fire from France privacy watchdog - Mobile World Live

TikTok under fire from France privacy watchdog

11 AUG 2020

The French data protection watchdog launched an investigation into the privacy policies and child safety features of TikTok, becoming the latest nation to home in on the social media service’s credentials.

A representative from the French Data Protection Agency (CNIL) told Mobile World Live the authority was looking at issues including TikTok’s user communication; methods for exercising rights; and measures to protect children.

CNIL explained its investigators are collaborating with a broader European Union-level probe of TikTok’s practices which was commenced by the European Data Protection board in June.

As part of the efforts, the French authority is scrutinising a TikTok plan to construct a data centre in the Republic of Ireland, stating the company must prove the facility would meet General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) conditions.

TikTok’s owner ByteDance unveiled the plans to invest €420 million into its first European data centre last week, explaining the Irish site would enhance “the safeguarding and protection of TikTok user data”.

CNIL added a complaint by a TikTok user in May regarding a request to remove a video had also been a factor in deciding to probe the service.

Scrutiny in the US led the Trump administration to order a ban on domestic companies trading with ByteDance and Tencent, the parent of messaging app WeChat from mid-September.

Software giant Microsoft emerged as a potential saviour for TikTok with talk of a possible takeover of its operations in the US and other countries, with Twitter reportedly also throwing its hat into the ring.

Last month Pakistan issued a final warning over content on the app deemed inappropriate.

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Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Yanitsa joins Mobile World Live as a Reporter based in London. She has more than 5 years’ experience at various media outlets in her home country Bulgaria. She started her career as a political reporter, followed by taking editor roles...

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