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TikTok forces personalized ads in Europe

TikTok users in Europe will receive personalized ads based on their on-TikTok activity collected on or after 13 July 2022.

People over 18 years old based in the UK, Switzerland, and EEA (European Economic Area) countries will get personalized ads on TikTok even if they haven't consented.

Users who previously consented to personalized ads on TikTok will be able to withdraw their consent but only to the use of data collected before 13 July 2022.

"However, please note that withdrawing your consent will not affect the use of on-TikTok activity collected on or after 13 July 2022 as from that date, TikTok will be using its "legitimate interest" to process that information," the social media giant said.

Access Now, a non-profit with a mission to defend and extend the digital civil rights of people around the world, says this new policy will risk the privacy of millions of people.

"TikTok wants to strip away the rights of people who use the platform to bump its ad revenue,'" said Estelle Massé, Europe Legislative Manager and Global Data Protection Lead at Access Now.

"The way social media platforms like TikTok implement consent mechanisms is far from perfect — or legal — as it is often bundled into lengthy terms of services. Yet, TikTok is taking a step further in limiting our rights and effectively suggesting that we should not have a say in deciding how our information is used."

Access Now reached out to TikTok and the European Data Protection Board, asking to revoke the decision.

"Social media companies have the obligation to protect the personal data of millions and to respect the privacy choices made by those who use their platforms. They cannot simply flip a switch and turn against the very people who sustain their platforms and keep their business thriving," said Isedua Oribhabor, Business & Human Rights Lead at Access Now.

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