The latest in technology, Marketing and Startups.

EU launches Digital Services Act inquiry into TikTok for child safety, risk management, etc.

The EU Commission revealed that it is examining TikTok’s DSA compliance.

According to a news release, the Commission is investigating TikTok for minor protection, advertising transparency, researcher data access, addictive design, and hazardous content risk management.

Since Saturday, hundreds of sites and services have followed the bloc’s internet governance and content regulation rules, the DSA. Since last summer, bigger platforms like TikTok have had to comply with algorithmic transparency and systemic risk standards, which the video-sharing company is currently being probed under.

For DSA violations, fines may exceed 6% of worldwide revenue.

After months of information collection, the Commission, which enforces DSA regulations for bigger platforms, requested TikTok’s child safety and misinformation risk information.

Although the EU’s worries about TikTok’s content control and safety precede the DSA’s implementation on bigger sites, After regional consumer protection agencies investigated kid safety and privacy issues in June 2022, TikTok had to make several operational changes.

As it examines the possible breaches, the Commission will increase its information demands on the video sharing site. Asking for additional data and conducting interviews and inspections are other options.

There’s no timeline for the EU’s in-depth examination; its news release says it depends on “the complexity of the case, the extent to which the company concerned cooperates with the Commission, and the exercise of the rights of defense.”.

TikTok was asked about the official inquiry. A firm spokesman emailed these words:

The whole business is struggling with adolescent protection and under-13 removal, but TikTok has pioneered these features. We’ll continue to engage with experts and industry to keep TikTok users secure, and we’re excited to explain our efforts to the Commission.

TikTok received a Commission paper stating the EU’s investigative conclusion. The business also reported that it has answered all Commission requests for information but has not received any comment. TikTok stated its internal kid safety personnel had not met with Commission authorities despite an earlier promise.

In its news statement, the Commission says it will investigate TikTok’s systemic risk compliance by looking at “actual or foreseeable negative effects” from its system architecture, including algorithms. The EU fears TikTok’s UX may “stimulate behavioral addictions and/or create so-called ‘rabbit hole effects’”.

“Such assessment is required to counter potential risks for the exercise of the fundamental right to the person’s physical and mental well-being, the respect of the child’s rights, and its impact on radicalization processes,” it says.

The Commission expressed worries that TikTok’s age verification procedures “may not be reasonable, proportionate, and effective” in protecting youngsters from unsuitable material.

The bloc will examine whether TikTok is meeting “DSA obligations to put in place appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure a high level of privacy, safety, and security for minors, particularly with regard to default privacy settings for minors as part of the design and functioning of their recommender systems.”.

The EU’s investigation will also examine TikTok’s DSA obligation to offer “a searchable and reliable repository” for advertisements.

Before the regulation’s compliance date for bigger platforms, TikTok created an advertisement library last summer.

On transparency, the Commission says its probe involves “suspected shortcomings” in TikTok giving academics access to publicly available data on its platform to examine systemic risk in the EU, as required by Article 40 of the DSA.

Last August, TikTok expanded its research API again. But the bloc is worried that neither step has gone far enough to meet the platform’s legal transparency standards.

Margrethe Vestager, digital EVP, stated:

Online safety and well-being in Europe are vital. TikTok must carefully evaluate its services and the hazards they represent to users, young and old. Now, the Commission will investigate thoroughly without bias.

Also supportive, internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said, “The protection of minors is a top enforcement priority for the DSA.”

He noted that TikTok must comply with the DSA and safeguard minors online as a platform that reaches millions of children and teens. “We are launching this formal infringement proceeding today to protect young Europeans’ physical and emotional well-being. We must defend our children at all costs.”

In December, the DSA began investigating Elon Musk’s X (previously Twitter), citing many issues. That inquiry continues.

EU enforcers may also take interim measures before a formal procedure after opening an inquiry.

If they address concerns, the EU may approve platform promises under scrutiny.

The DSA regulates algorithmic transparency and systemic risk on over two dozen platforms. Platforms with over 45 million regional monthly active users.

Last year, TikTok told the EU it had 135.9 million monthly active users.

Ireland’s media regulator, which oversees TikTok’s compliance with the rest of DSA rules under the EU’s decentralized, ‘country of origin’ enforcement structure, won’t be able to supervise the platform’s compliance in this area due to the Commission’s child protection investigation. The Commission will decide whether TikTok has taken “appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure a high level of privacy, safety, and security for minors.”.

In recent years, some EU lawmakers have criticized Ireland’s data protection authority, which oversees TikTok’s compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation, for not acting quickly enough on concerns about how the platform processes minors’ data.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

Share this article
Shareable URL
Prev Post

Partech closes $300M+ second Africa fund for seed to Series C.

Next Post

Son of SoftBank is allegedly seeking $100B to start an AI chip company.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read next
Subscribe to our newsletter
Get notified about our latest news and insights