Italy’s data protection authority said Friday it is imposing an immediate ban on TikTok’s access to data for any user whose age has not been verified.
The authority said it was acting “urgently” after the death of a 10-year-old girl in Sicily, who died while participating in the so-called “blackout” challenge while using the Chinese-owned video-sharing social network.
Sicily prosecutors are investigating the case.
The Data Protection Authority indicated that it advised TikTok in December of a series of violations, including scant attention to the protection of minors, the ease with which users under the age of 13 could subscribe to the platform – against its own rules – the lack of transparency in information provided to users and the use of automatic settings. That does not respect privacy.
“While awaiting receiving a response, the authority decided to take action to ensure immediate protection for minors in Italy who are registered on the network,” the authority said in a statement.
The block will remain in place at least until February 15, when more assessments will be made.
TikTok earlier this month rolled out some tighter privacy features For users under the age of 18, including a new default private setting for accounts with users between the ages of 13 and 15. New practices, affecting users around the world, followed a move by US regulators to request TikTok and other social media services to reveal how their practices affect children and teens.
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