TikTok is under investigation in France


TikTok

Chinese short video app, TikTok is one of the most controversial companies right now, many thanks to the U.S. government. According to a recent report, due to complaints in France, TikTok is currently under investigation by the country’s privacy regulator. This indicates that the scope of review of TikTok’s privacy policy is expanding. A spokesperson for the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL), headquartered in Paris, said that the agency launched an investigation into TikTok after receiving a complaint in May. However, it declined to disclose the reasons for the complaint or who made the complaint.

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The spokesperson said: “CNIL is particularly vigilant about this company and will take complaints and issues related to it seriously.” TikTok did not respond to a request for comment.

In June of this year, the EU data protection director promised to coordinate potential investigations against TikTok. Previously, the Dutch Data Protection Commission stated in May that it is investigating TikTok’s policies to protect children’s data. The British data regulator is also conducting a similar investigation. 

TikTok’s investigation in France could trigger an EU wide investigation

TikTok is also facing increasing pressure in the United States. President Trump recently banned TikTok in the U.S. However, the ban will take full effect in some week’s time (45 days from the day of the announcement). According to the U.S president, TikTok is a threat to American national security. Microsoft is negotiating to acquire TikTok’s US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand operations. Furthermore, Twitter also registered its interest to acquire TikTok. According to speculations, the deal to acquire TikTok could cost between $20 billion and $30 billion. 

In 2017, CNIL ordered Facebook’s instant messaging service WhatsApp to stop sharing user data with its parent company without obtaining the necessary consent. The agency also imposed a fine of 50 million euros (approximately $59 million) on Google on the grounds that the latter was suspected of violating EU privacy rules.

With 27 member states, the European Union has the most stringent data protection laws in the world. According to the relevant provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Union has the right to impose a fine equivalent to 4% of global annual sales on companies that violate the most serious regulations.

It appears that TikTok does not face the threat of a ban in France. If it is found guilty, it will probably pay a huge fine.

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