TikTok is under pressure in the European Union to comply with the Digital Services Act (DSA), legislation that governs digital services in the continent. If it does not adjust, the platform could even be banned from Europe, as this is one of the sanctions established in the act.
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The European standard is considered a golden rule in the data governance and privacy sector, establishing heavy sanctions on Big Techs in order to preserve citizen security. Every platform with more than 45 million subscribers that offers digital services in the Old Continent needs to be 100% in line with the law.
In TikTok’s situation, the biggest issue would be how the platform handles its users’ data. The United States, for example, has been accusing the service of improperly accessing US citizen data for more than two years, including possible espionage for the Chinese government. The app was banned from cell phones of US public servants in an attempt to prevent potential leaks.
For Europeans, there has never been such solid action, but regulators are listening. The Chinese from ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, say they work in accordance with data security standards, combating misinformation and respecting legal provisions. However, this still does not seem to have convinced European authorities, who are calling for a more proactive stance before the September 1 deadline.
TikTok could be fined and banned
Failure to comply with the rule can result in fines of up to 6% on TikTok’s annual revenue, in addition to a ban on operating in the European Union. Both would be very hard knocks on the social network of short videos, which has an important user base on European soil.
In addition to the DSA, Europe also has the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Code of Practice on Disinformation. The two laws are considered paradigms in the fight against harmful practices on the web, such as the sale of personal data, invasion of privacy and dissemination of fake news.
TikTok’s director of public policy, Caroline Greer, said on her Twitter that there was a “good exchange” during the meeting with EU representatives. The executive also stated that this is an opportunity to reiterate the commitment to the DSA, the “efforts to ensure compliance with the GDPR” and the action to align with the Code. “The safety of our users is paramount, she concluded.
TikTok will have a big challenge
TikTok is one of the most popular social networks among young people, which is why there is some concern from the authorities with practices related to the app. If dealing with adult data is already something that makes people fearful, imagine doing it with teenagers.
The network has made an effort to present tools and algorithms that minimize problems involving this public, especially the most vulnerable, such as the so-called “borderline content”. The algorithm has been optimized to automatically identify sexually explicit, suggestive, or “borderline” content, meaning content that tests the platform’s boundaries but does not exceed them.