The Strategist

EU gives TikTok a month to respond to consumer complaints

05/31/2021 - 03:38

The European Commission has given the Chinese service TikTok a month to respond to numerous consumer complaints that the service does not protect children from hidden advertising and inappropriate content.

According to a statement from Justice and Rule of Law Commissioner Didier Reynders, the EU has started a formal dialogue with national consumer protection organisations to "help TikTok comply with EU consumer protection laws". 

And these laws "prohibit targeting children and minors with hidden advertising, such as banners in videos," the commissioner stressed.

TikTok has already commented on the European Commission's statement. Carolyn Grier of the service's European branch told Bloomberg that the service "has taken many steps to protect young users, including making all accounts of users under the age of 16 private by default and disabling their access to direct messaging." 

She said "users under the age of 18 cannot buy, send or receive virtual gifts, and we have a strict policy against showing advertising directly to those under the age of digital consent." 

Ms. Grier said the dialogue outlined by the European Commission was part of the company's "ongoing engagement" with watchdogs.