Italian watchdog warns TikTok over alleged violation of EU privacy rules

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 Italy’s data protection authority has formally warned Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok of an alleged breach of European Union rules to safeguard user privacy, it said. on Monday the control body.

TikTok had told users in recent weeks that it would offer them targeted advertising from July 13, without asking them for consent to use data stored on their devices, the Italian watchdog said.

By changing its privacy policy, TikTok claimed that it was acting in the legitimate interest of the company and its partners, according to the Italian regulator. But the watchdog said that legal basis was not consistent with EU privacy rules.

“We strive to build a personalized experience for our community, while at the same time we are committed to respecting the privacy of our users … and operating in accordance with all relevant regulations,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

“While our assessment of the recent notification from the Italian Data Protection Agency is still ongoing, we are unable to comment further,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The Italian watchdog said it reserved the right to impose unspecified restrictions in case TikTok, which has seen rapid growth around the world, especially among teenagers, did not withdraw announced policy changes.

He also said he was concerned that inappropriate advertising could target minors, given the problems TikTok has faced in accurately monitoring the age of its users.

The watchdog has also informed the Irish Data Protection Commission of TikTok’s alleged policy breaches of EU data rules. The Irish body is the main EU regulator for TikTok and other major internet companies due to the location of their regional headquarters in Ireland.

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Companies operating in the EU can face fines of up to 4% of global revenue for privacy violations.

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