TikTok has been fined for not protecting children and young teenagers from strangers and adults on its platform. The fine, issued by the Irish watchdog, brings the total penalties on Big Tech to almost €3bn over the last two years. The main issue was that TikTok did not do enough to ensure the privacy of its young users. Additionally, the regulator found that TikTok used manipulative tactics, called “dark patterns”, to encourage users to share more personal information. This is the third largest fine imposed by the Irish regulator on Big Tech. It was revealed in a recent survey that a majority of 12-year-olds in Ireland use TikTok. The platform’s default settings for child accounts allowed anyone to view their content. The regulator also criticized TikTok for not properly considering the risks posed to children under 13 who accessed the platform. The company has been ordered to comply with data protection regulations within three months. TikTok claims to have already made many of the necessary changes voluntarily. It has not yet decided whether or not to appeal the fine. The Irish watchdog has a separate investigation into TikTok’s handling of user information sent to its parent company in China.

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