TikTok is being punished for the first time for breaching Europe’s data privacy rules. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, the lead privacy regulator for Big Tech companies, is fining them $368 million for failing to protect children’s privacy. The investigation in 2021 found that the sign-up process for teen users resulted in settings that made their accounts public by default, allowing anyone to view and comment on their videos.
TikTok said in a statement that it disagrees with the decision. The company pointed out that the regulator’s criticisms focused on features and settings dating back three years. TikTok said it had made changes well before the investigation began in September 2021.