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The European Commission Initiates Formal Probe into TikTok Over Safeguarding Kids and Ad Transparency

The European Commission Initiates Formal Probe into TikTok Over Safeguarding Kids and Ad Transparency

The European Commission has commenced formal proceedings to investigate whether TikTok may have violated the Digital Services Act (DSA) concerning the protection of minors and advertising transparency. This move signifies the EU’s commitment to ensuring the safety and privacy of users on social media platforms.

In a statement released on Monday, the Commission outlined its concerns regarding TikTok’s compliance with DSA regulations, particularly in terms of protecting minors, ensuring transparency in advertising, providing data access for researchers, and managing the risks associated with addictive design and harmful content.

The investigation will involve gathering evidence through additional requests for information, interviews, or inspections to ascertain whether TikTok has adhered to DSA obligations. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a ‘Europe Fit for the Digital Age,’ emphasized the need for TikTok to assess the risks its services pose to users, highlighting the importance of protecting both young and adult users.

The focus of the probe will be on TikTok’s compliance with DSA obligations related to assessing and mitigating systemic risks stemming from its system design, including algorithmic systems. Additionally, the Commission will scrutinize TikTok’s measures to ensure a high level of privacy, safety, and security for minors, including evaluating default privacy settings within its recommender systems.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, underscored the significance of protecting minors online, declaring it a top enforcement priority for the DSA. With TikTok’s wide-reaching influence among children and teenagers, full compliance with DSA regulations is imperative, as the platform plays a crucial role in safeguarding minors within its digital ecosystem.

The formal probe into TikTok’s practices reflects the EU’s commitment to upholding digital rights and ensuring a safe online environment for all users. As the investigation unfolds, the Commission aims to determine whether TikTok has violated DSA regulations and take appropriate actions to address any shortcomings identified during the process.

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