Commission opens probe into TikTok under EU platform rules


TikTok is the second company that faces an investigation under the DSA.

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Chinese video sharing platform TikTok is under investigation by the European Commission for potential breach of the Digital Services Act (DSA), the EU executive said today.

The formal proceedings against Bythedance, TikTok’s parent company, focus on the protection of minors, advertising transparency, data access for researchers, as well as the risk management of addictive design and harmful content.

The commission’s statement said that the investigation will look, among other issues, at whether age verification tools used by TikTok to prevent access by minors to inappropriate content, are reasonable, proportionate and effective. It will also check if the advertisement repository is searchable and reliable as required under the DSA.

Evidence

The probe comes after the commission conducted a preliminary investigation last September based on a risk assessment report sent by TikTok and replies by the company to a commission request for information.

It will now gather more evidence, but did not mention how long the investigation will take. If DSA rules have been breached, the platform could face fines to the value of up to 6% of its global turnover.

A spokesperson for TikTok told Euronews in response that the company will “continue to work with experts and industry to keep young people on TikTok safe.”

“We look forward to now having the opportunity to explain this work in detail to the commission,” the spokesperson added. 

Last December, the EU executive already started using new DSA powers to investigate social media platform X, formerly Twitter, to find out if it breached EU rules on content moderation.

The DSA, proposed by the commission in 2020, imposed stringent transparency obligations on online platforms and marketplaces. As of Saturday (17 February), the platform rules – which already apply to the EU’s 22 biggest online platforms including TikTok, Facebook and Booking.com – will also affect smaller platforms such as Vinted, Temu and eBay.

This article has been updated to add a comment from a TikTok spokesperson.



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2024-02-19 12:57:09

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