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TikTok slapped with $5.4m fine for cookies policy


TikTok has been fined €5 million ($5.4million) by French personal data regulator CNIL for its policy regarding cookies, which it says are being pushed onto users without due explanation.

The agency investigated the Chinese-owned social media app between 2020 and 2022 and found that its refusal mechanism was complex in such a way as to cajole users into accepting all cookies.

Cookies allow a website or application to track user data, being stored on the device used to access them. They often serve a useful function, but in the wrong hands could theoretically violate privacy because they essentially track people’s use of the internet.

CNIL concluded that TikTok’s cookies policy went against the French Data Protection Act in that it “infringed the freedom of consent of internet users.”

During the inspection, CNIL found that TikTok’s subsidiary companies in the United Kingdom and Ireland presented a button allowing immediate acceptance of cookies but “did not put in place an equivalent solution, button or other, to allow the internet user to refuse their deposit as easily. Several clicks were required to refuse all cookies, as opposed to just one to accept them.”


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