EU opens formal probe against TikTok over safeguarding kids, ad transparency

London: The European Commission on Monday opened formal proceedings to assess whether TikTok may have breached the Digital Services Act (DSA) for protection of minors, advertising transparency, data access for researchers and risk management of addictive design and harmful content.

After the formal opening of proceedings, the Commission will continue to gather evidence, for example by sending additional requests for information, conducting interviews or inspections, it said in a statement.

“TikTok needs to take a close look at the services they offer and carefully consider the risks that they pose to their users – young as well as old. The Commission will now carry out an in-depth investigation without prejudice to the outcome,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a ‘Europe Fit for the Digital Age’.

The proceedings will focus on the compliance with the DSA obligations related to the assessment and mitigation of systemic risks, in terms of actual or foreseeable negative effects stemming from the design of TikTok’s system, including algorithmic systems.

The Commission will also probe the compliance with DSA obligations to put in place appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure a high level of privacy, safety and security for minors, particularly with regard to default privacy settings for minors as part of the design and functioning of their recommender systems.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said that the protection of minors is a top enforcement priority for the DSA.

“As a platform that reaches millions of children and teenagers, TikTok must fully comply with the DSA and has a particular role to play in the protection of minors online,” said Breton.

The move came after the EU opened formal proceedings against X over its handling of illegal content surrounding the Israel-Hamas war.

IANS

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