$883K TikTok Fine

PowerKee’s Bastion of Privacy #34 — Dutch authorities clampdown on TikTok after lengthy investigation over non-compliance

Video-sharing social networking platform TikTok has been fined $883K for child privacy violations. The TikTok fine was imposed by the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA). The fine was imposed after a lengthy investigation which found that TikTok’s English privacy policy failed to clearly communicate the risks of the platforms to underage users.

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) demands that companies who collect and manage users’ data provide clear and legible policy descriptions for users. In this case, Dutch authorities concluded that TikTok failed in this regard.

In the latest Bastion of Privacy, we highlight the details of the TikTok fine and how the social media behemoth reacted to the development. We also analyze the limitations of current regulatory approaches to protecting user data and explore alternative ways that users can improve their security.

Development:

Over the past week beta users installed and tested the PowerKee windows wallet, we received positive feedback about the UI/UX only. Internally we continued testing “Send KEE”, “Receive KEE”, “Saved Contacts” and most important “Master Nodes”.

We checked and focused on the installation logic, tools> sign / verify, tools> bip38, wallet data> backup to guarantee that successful recoveries on our chain can be made.

We continued to make bug reports together with the users during the past seven days. After another seven days of testing we’ll make KEE available to the beta testers to let for the first time third parties interact with the PowerKee Mainnet.

Lack of Dutch policies leave TikTok exposed

According to the DPA, TikTok’s lack of Dutch privacy policies left a gap that implied more likelihood for children to sign up for the service without a full understanding of the processes. The processes, in this case, include how the app collects, processes and uses personal data, and the implications of sharing such data on social media.

On their part, TikTok has appealed the fine. According to the company, a shorter and more accessible version of the privacy policy has been made available in Dutch since July 2020.

Other recent changes claimed to have been made by TikTok include the restriction of direct messaging on the app among users who are not up to 16 years old. However, part of the concerns raised by the DPA include the weak age verification process of the social network.

Global data privacy regulation are inconsistent

The lack of clarity in data privacy regulations remains a global concern. Data privacy regulations can often vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, leaving companies exposed to fines such as the TikTok incident. This can be especially concerning when applications like TikTok have a global user base.

When the TikTok investigations began, the company did not have a European headquarters. However, TikTok has since set up operations in Ireland, thereby changing the dynamics of how regulatory compliance can be enforced and who will be responsible for that. Outside Europe, the regulatory processes might differ completely, giving enterprises even greater compliance needs to be met.

Like other social networks, TikTok is growing in popularity in different parts of the world, including developing countries. While enterprises like TikTok will face the stiff challenge of meeting widely varying regulatory compliance, netizens who simply want to protect their data have other options.

Privacy protocols as an alternative

Privacy protocols like PowerKee are central to today’s data privacy and cybersecurity improvement. They allow netizens to easily and privately store and transfer value across a distributed network. PowerKee enables cheap, fast, and anonymous transactions for its users, ensuring the safety of their data.

However, when it comes to enterprises collecting and facilitating the transfer of user data legislative issues like the situation between DPA and TikTok are bound to arise. Regulators will always be playing a game of catch-up to try and put in place the best measures for data protection. However, when it comes to facilitating private transactions, netizens have better options.

About PowerKee

PowerKee is a cryptocurrency network that makes privacy easy. Users can transact cheaply and instantly while maintaining anonymity. The PowerKee protocol uses a mixture of zero-knowledge proofs and coin mixing to provide strong privacy assurances to its users.

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PowerKee

PowerKee

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PowerKee is a decentralized cryptocurrency network that prioritizes privacy secured by proof-of-stake. Your Privacy. Your Rights. Your Assets.