Dec 23, 2020 07:58 PM

Italian Regulator Takes Up Case Against TikTok for Endangering Kids’ Privacy

What’s new: The Italian data security regulator has initiated formal proceedings against Chinese-owned video-sharing sensation TikTok for endangering the privacy of children under 13, according to an announcement Tuesday.

The data protection authority, known as the Italian DPA, is looking into TikTok’s “poor attention to the protection of children, easy-to-circumvent signup restrictions for children, poor transparency and clarity in user information, (and) privacy-unfriendly default settings.”

The global short video site has 30 days to file a plea and request a hearing, the regulator said in the announcement.

What’s the background: The Italian regulator’s decision comes after a panel of experts from the European Data Protection Board set up a task force to investigate the social media app over privacy concerns.

The company, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., has been grappling with mounting questions from U.S. policymakers on whether it jeopardizes national security.

The 27-nation EU, of which Italy is a member, has some of the strictest data-protection laws in the world. The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, gives the EU the authority to fine companies as much as 4% of their global annual sales for the most serious violations.

Contact reporter Anniek Bao ( and editor Heather Mowbray (

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