Dutch courage: TikTok hit with €750,000 privacy fine

amsterdam-4038204_1920Dutch authorities are continuing to show their disdain for TikTok, with the Netherlands’ data regulator becoming the latest to slam the company’s practices, whacking it with a €750,000 (£645,000) fine for failing to publish its privacy notice in the local language.

Imposing the fine under GDPR, Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens insisted that most children who use the popular video sharing app would be unable to understand the information.

It ruled that said that by not offering a Dutch-language version, “TikTok failed to provide an adequate explanation of how the app collects, processes and uses personal data” to its 3.5 million Dutch users.

The regulator said that privacy law is “based on the principle that people must always be given a clear idea of what is being done with their personal data”.

However, TikTok, which has already lodged an appeal, insisted that its privacy policy and a “shorter and more accessible version for our younger users, available in Dutch since July 2020, has been accepted by the Dutch Data Protection Authority as the solution to this issue”.

It added that it had made other changes to safeguard the privacy of children over the past 18 months, including setting accounts of 13-to-15-year-olds to private by default and only allowing direct messaging for users 16 and over.

Only last month, Dutch consumers’ association Consumentenbond and the Take Back Your Privacy Foundation filed a €1.5bn (£1.3bn) damage claim against TikTok’s parent company ByteDance.

They want TikTok to pay all Dutch children who use or have used the platform compensation of around €1,000 each (£857).

In addition to compensation, Consumentenbond also wants the data of Dutch children to be deleted. If TikTok refuses to pay, the organisations will take the matter to court.

The claim has been submitted through the Collective Settlement Mass Damage Act. The law makes it possible to submit a compensation claim to TikTok even parents have not yet made a complaint.

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