Now, according to TechCrunch, TikTok has decided to stop this change due to pressure from some European data protection authorities. “At TikTok, we strive to build a personalized experience for our community, and at the same time we are committed to respecting the privacy of our users, being transparent about our privacy practices, and operating in compliance with all relevant regulations. While our evaluation of the Italian Data Protection Agency’s recent notice is still ongoing, we cannot comment further” a TikTok spokesperson said.
“(This would be) in conflict with the current regulatory framework, at least with regard to the information stored in users’ devices, and would entail all the relevant consequences also in terms of corrective measures and fines”
Although its Irish counterpart, before which TikTok is accountable since there where its headquarters are located, affirms that this decision is due to the conversations held on its part.
Meanwhile, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) made a similar announcement: “The AEPD ex officio initiates preliminary investigation actions against TikTok due to the announced change in the way in which this company justifies the processing of personal information to display advertising”
These European authorities appeal to article 21 of the GDPR, which includes the right to oppose the collection of information and the elaboration of profiles:
“The data subject shall have the right to object, on grounds relating to his or her particular situation, at any time to processing of personal data concerning him or her which is based on point (e) or (f) of Article 6(1), including profiling based on those provisions. The controller shall no longer process the personal data unless the controller demonstrates compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override the interests, rights and freedoms of the data subject or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.”
Art. 21.1, GDPR
“Where the data subject objects to processing for direct marketing purposes, the personal data shall no longer be processed for such purposes.”
Art. 21.3, GDPR
This decision made by TikTok shows that apart from fines and sanctions, GDPR enforcement has an effective role in stopping implementation of such bad practices, thus safeguarding and guaranteeing protection to users and consumers within the EU.