TikTok fined $5.4 million for making it difficult for users to reject cookies
TikTok has bee been hit with a fine of $5.4 million over failures in policies that allow users to accept and refuse tracking cookies on its website. French data protection watchdog CNIL fined the ByteDance-owned company 5 million euros (about $5.4 million) for a deficiency linked to its handling of cookies, which the short video platform said it had now addressed.
CNIL also clarified that its investigation only concerned the website tiktok.com and not the TikTok app which is heavily used on smart devices like iPhone and Android. The news comes just a few weeks after the US government approved the ban of the TikTok app from U.S. government phones.
Responding to the news, a spokesperson for TikTok said: “These findings relate to past practices that we addressed last year, including making it easier to reject non-essential cookies and providing additional information about the purposes of certain cookies.”
The spokesperson also added: “The CNIL itself highlighted our cooperation during the course of the investigation and user privacy remains a top priority for TikTok.”
Owned by ByteDance, TikTok is a Chinese viral video-sharing app that started out as a joke and has emerged to become the most popular app in the world. In December 2021, TikTok dethroned Google to become the most visited website in the world, ending Google’s 23 years of dominance.
Today, TikTok is used by more than 100 million monthly active users in the U.S. alone. Its ability to create instant viral hits makes the app very popular among youths. It was reported that 8 new users join TikTok every second, with an average of 650,000 new users joining on a daily basis.