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TikTok subject of Dutch data protection probe

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TikTok subject of Dutch data protection probe

The Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) launched an investigation into the popular social media platform, TikTok, on privacy issues.

The investigation will examine whether TikTok adequately protects children's privacy under Dutch law and the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.

"We will investigate whether the app has a privacy-friendly design," said Monique Verdier, vice president of the Dutch DPA.

"We will also verify that the information that TikTok provides when children install and use the application is easy to understand and adequately explains how their personal data is collected, processed and used."

Authorities are also examining whether the app requires parental consent for TikTok to collect and use data from its young users.

TikTok's popularity increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and market intelligence vendor Sensor Tower estimates the app was the second most installed application in April in the world, with more than 107 million downloads.

The Chinese-owned social media app was under scrutiny by the United Kingdom and the United States over its data privacy regulations.

In February 2019, the company agreed to pay $ 5.7 million (about € 5.25 million) as part of an agreement on allegations of "illegal image collection, voice recordings and geolocation" of children, some under 13 years old.

Last month, TikTok described some data security measures it was implementing, including new policies on global residence protection, data movement and movement around the world.

The company says they are "committed to protecting children's privacy"and collect only limited information from younger users, such as username, password and date of birth.

"TikTok's top priority is to protect the privacy and security of our users, especially our youngest users," the company said in a statement to Euronews.

"We are aware of the investigation by Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (Dutch Data Protection Authority) and we are fully cooperating with them."

The Dutch Data Protection Authority is due to publish its initial findings in late 2020.

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