EU Launches Investigation into TikTok Over Potential Breach

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The European Union will investigate if ByteDance's TikTok violated online content regulations.
The European Union will investigate if ByteDance's TikTok violated online content regulations.

The European Union will investigate whether ByteDance’s TikTok breached online content rules aimed at protecting children and ensuring transparent advertising, an official said on Monday, putting the social media platform at risk of a hefty fine.

EU Industry Chief Initiates Investigation Following Risk Assessment:

EU industry chief Thierry Breton said he decided to confirm a Reuters story after analyzing the short video app’s risk assessment report and its replies to requests for information.

“Today we open an investigation into TikTok over a suspected breach of transparency & obligations to protect minors: addictive design & screen time limits, rabbit hole effect, age verification, default privacy settings,” Breton said.

Potential Ramifications for ByteDance Under DSA Rules:

The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which has applied to all online platforms since Feb. 17, requires very big online platforms and search engines to do better in tackling illegal online content and risks to public security. ByteDance could face fines of up to 6% of its global turnover if TikTok is guilty of breaching DSA rules.

Also Read: Australian Competition Watchdog Calls for Merger Law Reform

TikTok Response and Commitment to Safety:

TikTok said it would continue to work with experts and the industry to keep young people on its platform safe and look forward to explaining this work in detail to the European Commission.

The European Commission stated the investigation would focus on designing TikTok’s system, including algorithmic systems that may stimulate behavioral addictions and/or create so-called ‘rabbit hole effects.’

Ensuring Privacy, Safety, and Security for Minors:

It will also probe whether TikTok has put appropriate and proportionate steps in place to ensure high privacy, safety, and security for minors.

As well as the issue of protecting minors, the Commission is looking at whether TikTok provides a reliable database of advertisements on its platform so that researchers can scrutinize potential online risks.

This marks the second DSA investigation after Elon Musk‘s social media platform X was in the EU’s crosshairs in December last year.

James Adam

James Adam, a noted business writer for CEO Times Magazine, specializes in insightful industry analysis and executive profiles. Known for his clear, concise style, James offers readers an expert perspective on global business trends and market dynamics.

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