Mehul Reuben DasJan 13, 2023 16:10:20 IST
It seems that TikTok just can’t catch a break. After getting banned from state-owned computers and mobile devices in over 20 states in the United States of America, where it faces a possible federal-level ban, the social media company was fined $5.4 million by France for inappropriate handling of cookies and online tracking.
France’s CNIL or National Commission on Informatics and Liberty, the protection watchdog whose job it is to ensure that all companies operating in France abide by the nation’s data laws, said that its investigation only concerned the website tiktok.com and not the service’s much more heavily used smartphone applications.
The CNIL discovered that TikTok users who used the web version, found it more difficult to reject internet trackers than to accept them. Additionally, the authority determined that internet users were not adequately notified about TikTok’s usage of cookies.
The ByteDance-owned company has since said that they have now resolved the issue.
“These findings relate to past practices that we addressed last year, including making it easier to reject non-essential cookies and providing additional information about the purposes of certain cookies,” a spokesperson for TikTok told Reuters.
“The CNIL itself highlighted our cooperation during the course of the investigation and user privacy remains a top priority for TikTok,” the spokesperson added.
According to regulations set forth by the European Union, websites must expressly request internet users’ permission before using cookies, which are little data files saved when a user is browsing the web.
The fine comes just a day after TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew met a contingent of EU officials in Brussels and assured them that TikTok takes data privacy seriously and will work closely with officials to safeguard users.