TikTok Comes Under Fire In The EU Over Addictive Rabbit Holes, Security Risks & Access To Advertising Records

TikTok Comes Under Fire In The EU Over Addictive Rabbit Holes, Security Risks & Access To Advertising Records

A European Union official has announced that a formal investigation will be launched into whether TikTok has breached online content rules to protect children and ensure transparent advertising.

The investigation is a part of the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires large online platforms and search engines to do more to tackle illegal online content and risks to public security.

It will focus on the design of TikTok’s system, including algorithmic systems that create addictive “rabbit hole effects”. The app will also be investigated over whether appropriate measures have been put in place to secure users’ privacy and safety and whether TikTok provides a reliable database of advertisements on its platform so that researchers can scrutinise potential online risks.

The decision to formally investigate comes after EU industry chief Thierry Breton analysed the app’s risk assessment report. “Today we open an investigation into TikTok over a suspected breach of transparency & obligations to protect minors: addictive design & screen time limits, rabbit hole effect, age verification, default privacy settings,” Breton said on X (formerly Twitter).

According to Reuters, if TikTok is found guilty of breaching the DSA rules, it could face fines of up to 6% of its global turnover.

A spokesperson for TikTok told B&T: “TikTok has pioneered features and settings to protect teens and keep under 13s off the platform, issues the whole industry is grappling with. We’ll continue to work with experts and industry to keep young people on TikTok safe, and look forward to now having the opportunity to explain this work in detail to the Commission”.




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