EU puts TikTok and its Chinese overlords under the microscope

(Pocket-lint) – The European Commission has confirmed that multiple investigations are underway into how TikTok and its Chinese parent company handle user data. The ownership of TikTok by Chinese outfit ByteDance is something that has long made many uneasy, with reports suggesting that Chinese access to data on United States citizens was already happening. That prompted some Europeans to wonder whether the same thing could be true of their data, and now it’s been confirmed that investigations are underway.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, has confirmed in a letter to members of the European Parliament that multiple investigations are already underway in the Netherlands and Ireland.


NEW: The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, confirms that #TikTok‘s data transfers are under investigation & object of several ongoing proceedings. This comes after concerns raised by Members of the European Parliament about data access from inside China

— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) November 22, 2022

“The data practices of TikTok, including with respect to international data transfers, are the object of several ongoing proceedings”, the president said via a letter to MEPs. “This includes an investigation by the Irish DPA about TikTok’s compliance with several GDPR requirements, including as regards data transfers to China and the processing of data of minors, and litigation before the Dutch courts (in particular concerning targeted advertising regarding minors and data
transfers to China)”. The ability of the Chinese government to access data on international citizens is one of the reasons former President Donald Trump wanted to ban TikTok at one point, although that never did come to fruition.

Writing by Oliver Haslam.