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Social Media Platform TikTok Penalized By The Personal Data Protection Board of Turkey

Social Media Platform TikTok Penalized By The Personal Data Protection Board of Turkey

Turkey’s Personal Data Protection Board has decided to Penalize Social Media Platform TikTok Application.

The relevant decision was made due to the ex officio investigation conducted by the Board following complaints and news about the claims that there are illegalities within the scope of obtaining and storing personal data on TikTok. The social media platform is in the data controller position, and the user’s express consent was not duly obtained. Also, there are many software vulnerabilities in the application.

In the review by the Board, it has been seen that Tik Tok changed its privacy policy with its update in January 2021. When the updated text was examined, although the privacy setting was changed to private for users between the ages of 13-15, it was determined that the profiles could be viewed publicly by default before the relevant update. It was determined that this situation poses a risk for users in the sensitive age group who are not adults, and the necessary measures have not been taken to reduce these risks.

It has been evaluated that the personal information of children under the age of 13 who were using the application before the update was viewed, and that the data of these children were collected without proper permission from the parents. Therefore there is a risk of negative consequences for children using the application.

Also Read: Crime of Violation of the Privacy of Private Life.

It has been determined that the privacy policy on the relevant platform’s website, as the data controller, has violated the principle of “being relevant, limited, and proportionate” to the data’s processing purpose. Additionally, it was found that despite users being considered to have accepted the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy by continuing to create accounts, the content was not understandably presented to users due to the Terms of Use not being translated into Turkish.

In addition, it has been observed that no text, permission, or consent regarding obtaining explicit consent while creating an account and using the application was obtained; furthermore, despite the Privacy Policy being presented as an Information Text within the application, using it as the Explicit Consent Text did not ensure obtaining explicit consent. As the data controller, it has also been noted that the platform engaged in unlawful profiling activities using the Cookie Policies.

Due to all the above reasons, an administrative fine of 1.750.000,00 TL has been imposed on the social media platform TikTok. Instructions have been given for the relevant privacy policy texts to be brought into compliance with the law within three months and for an informational text to be prepared per article 10 of the relevant Law.

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