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TikTok fined $5.4 million by France for 'cookies' related issues

WION logo WION 12-01-2023 Abhinav Singh
© Provided by WION

Citing shortcomings related to the handling of 'cookies', France on Thursday levied a fine of $5.4 million on the Chinese short-video app TikTok. 

Commission Nationale Informatique & Libertés (CNIL), the French data protection agency, said users were not allowed to refuse cookies as easily as they accept them. Secondly, they were not informed of the purpose of different cookies. 

The watchdog informed its tests during the investigation only pertained to TikTok's website, not the more heavily used smartphone application.

"Between May 2020 and June 2022, the CNIL carried out several online control missions on the “” website and on documents, that is to say on the basis of documents requested from the company by the CNIL."

WATCH | TikTok says 'disappointed over the ban' in US


CNIL said the company was found in breach of the Article 82 of the Data Protection Act for not having proper measures in place for accepting and refusing 'cookies'. 

"During the check carried out in June 2021, the CNIL noted that while the companies TikTok United Kingdom and TikTok Ireland did offer a button allowing cookies to be accepted immediately, they did not put in place an equivalent solution (button or other) to allow the Internet user to refuse their deposit just as easily."


The decision by the French watchdog comes barely a day after TikTok chief executive Shou Zi Chew met EU vice presidents Margrethe Vestager and Vera Jourova and received a dressing down from them. 

"I count on TikTok to fully execute its commitments to go the extra mile in respecting EU law and regaining trust of European regulators," said Jourova after the meeting. 

"There cannot be any doubt that data of users in Europe are safe and not exposed to illegal access from third-country authorities," she added. 

Notably, in November last year, the ByteDance-owned company admitted that some of its staff in China had access to the data of European users. 

Read more: TikTok tells its European users its employees in China, other continents can access their data

The company is already facing music from the Irish privacy regulators for allegedly violating the EU's data protection law, the GDPR. Meanwhile, the US government has already banned the usage and download of the app from all federal government devices, barring a few exceptions. 

(With inputs from agencies)


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