European Union politicians are now moved to take decisive action against TikTok, after months of relative quiet. While American authorities have been vocal in their concerns over potential security threats posed by the Chinese-owned app – having taken steps such as banning it on federal devices and introducing measures to prevent its operation – the same level of scrutiny has been largely absent in the EU.
That’s not to say that the continent is soft on tech giants; indeed, American companies have been hit with steep fines for breaching GDPR rules in recent years. However, TikTok has avoided becoming the subject of major commercial interests in Europe until now.
The European Commission is now reviewing whether user data transfers from TikTok to China, as well as processing of user data relating to minors, breaches GDPR privacy laws. It could be some time before any verdict is reached, perhaps later this year or even 2024.
App has been very popular among Southern Europeans, becoming the most downloaded social media platform in 2020 in Spain and Italy, and taking second place in France and Germany.