Irish DPC Will Conclude TikTok Privacy Probe Within WeeksEuropean Data Protection Board Gives the Commission 1 Month
TikTok will hear within a month the outcome of an Irish investigation launched in 2021 into whether the short-form video app violated the privacy of underage users.
The investigation stalled earlier this year after other European national privacy enforcers raised objections to the Irish Data Protection Commission's draft decision, which the Irish agency had circulated for review in September. The Irish Times in November reported the company anticipated the commission would levy fines. Following a failure among national privacy agencies to resolve their differences, the commission in May invoked an intra-European dispute resolution mechanism set out in the General Data Protection Regulation that carried the objections to Brussels.
The European Data Protection Board today decided Dublin should publish a final decision within a month, "taking into account" legal conclusions reached by the board. An Irish Data Protection Commission spokesperson told Information Security Media Group the decision should be ready by the end of this month or early September.
A TikTok spokesperson emailed a prepared statement that says, "We've yet to receive the final decision so we're not in a position to comment." The company's European headquarters is in Dublin.
The European Data Protection Board said disagreements among the national data protection authorities stemmed from "whether there had been an infringement of data protection by design and default with regard to age verification, and whether there had been an infringement of the principle of fairness with regard to certain design practices."
TikTok has triggered a number of probes and fines for privacy violations across Europe and has faced pressure in the United States to break away from its Beijing-based owner, ByteDance. Western governments have raised concerns about the company's collection practices and have fretted that China could use it as a conduit for propaganda and disinformation, allegations the company said are misplaced (see: TikTok CEO Aims to Assure Lawmakers Americans' Data Is Safe).