News & Press

TikTok Slapped with $369 mil Fine over GDPR Violations

Press Release
Sep 18, 2023
min read

The Irish Data Protection Commission announced the second GDPR fine against TikTok this year. This most recent decision carries the price tag of nearly $369 million, and comes after the platform failed to present children with transparent signup language, which ended up leading the vast majority of underaged users to having accounts set to public view by default.

While the decision does not explicitly call out dark patterns, the size of the fine and regulator's focus on the lack of transparency in the platform's privacy notices clearly and implicitly underline the utmost importance in avoiding dark patterns at all costs.

On top of guiding child users through the sign-up process without regard to privacy, the Irish DPC notes that the “family pairing” scheme designed to provide parental consent for underaged users does not have any verification methods to check that adults paired with child users were actually their guardians/parents.

This combination of violations, together with the potential for privacy harm, explain the 9-figure fine.

TikTok has publicly declared it plans to appeal the decision.

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Press release can be found