The Dutch DPA has launched the inquiry in response to “growing concerns about privacy” on TikTok.
Outlining the investigation, Monique Verdier, deputy chairman of the Dutch DPA, said: ‘We’ll investigate whether the app has a privacy-friendly design. We’ll also check whether the information TikTok provides when children install and use the app is easy to understand and adequately explains how their personal data is collected, processed and used.
“Lastly, we’ll look at whether parental consent is required for TikTok to collect, store and use children’s personal data.”
The Dutch DPA’s investigation is the latest faced by TikTok relating to children’s privacy. In February 2019, the social media app paid a record $5.7 million settlement with the US’ Federal Trade Commission after it faced allegations that they had violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, known as COPPA.
In December, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance reached a settlement with a group who alleged the platform breached COPPA by collecting data from their children, who were under 13 years of age, without parental consent.
TikTok later went on to announce that it would ban direct messaging for under-16s, before the measures came into effect at the end of April.
In a statement to the news agency Reuters, TikTok said it is co-operating with the Dutch authorities, adding: “TikTok’s top priority is protecting our users’ privacy and safety, especially our younger users.”
The Dutch DPA said it expects to publish its initial findings from the investigation “later this year”.
Read more about TikTok’s decision to ban under-16s from direct messaging on the app, or take a look at our feature exploring the role music plays on the platform.