TikTok’s CEO wants to reassure users about EU privacy and child safety laws
TikTok affirms its commitment to upholding privacy and child safety obligations as well as the strict EU technology regulations.
On a visit to Brussels on Tuesday, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew sought to reassure the European Union that the app will adhere to the bloc’s increasingly strict digital regulations and commitments to privacy and child safety.
The short-video app, which is owned by Chinese technology giant ByteDance, has been fighting US worries about whether the personal information of its citizens can be accessed and it’s content altered by China’s Communist Party or any other organization under Beijing’s control for the past three years.
After the firm acknowledged last month that some of its staff had inappropriately accessed the TikTok user data of two journalists in an effort to track down the source of information leaks to the media, pressure on the company grew.
TikTok has a relatively low profile with regulators in the 27-country EU compared to peers Meta and Twitter.
But when strict digital regulations to restrain Big Tech’s dominance and require online platforms to do more to police the internet for illicit content come into law in the coming months, that may change.
Margrethe Vestager, head of the EU’s antitrust agency, was the first of Chew’s meetings in Brussels.
The purpose of the meeting with TikTok, according to the EU executive, “was to evaluate how the firm is planning to comply with its duties under the European Commission’s regulation, specifically the Digital Services Act (DSA) and potentially under the Digital Markets Act (DMA).”
According to the statement, “during the meeting, the parties also discussed GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), issues of privacy and data transfer requirements with a reference to the current press coverage on aggressive data collecting and spying in the US.
Vera Jourova, the commissioner for values and transparency, detailed her worries to Chew, including the security of Europeans’ personal information, the safety of children, the propagation of Russian misinformation on the platform, and the openness of political advertising.
In a statement following the meeting, she stated, “I expect TikTok to fully execute its obligations to go above and beyond in obeying EU legislation and recovering the trust of European regulators.”
Didier Reynders, the head of the EU’s justice department, told Chew that TikTok could do more to eradicate hate speech on its website.
According to Tiktok, it was committed to following EU regulations openly.
Our readiness for this is a high priority, said Theo Bertram, vice president for public policy in Europe.
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