TikTok is the social media platform that has weaved its way into our society and engrained itself into the minds of our children. The video content app that allows its users to record videos of up to 3 minutes long, using different audios and effects has grown in popularity exponentially over the pandemic. In 2020, TikTok was one of the most downloaded apps available to users. Parents and teachers alike will be familiar with the ever changing references and trends that children are obsessing over when it comes to their new online fixation. However, the App has recently encountered an administrative fine under the GDPR for not adhering to their obligations to users.
Should the lack of transparency make people weary in allowing our children and students to use the App in the future? Are their rights and freedoms at stake? Some individuals may feel TikTok is just as safe as any other social media platform that teenagers and young adults are already using. There is inevitable risk when using any social media platform, particularly when the platform involves cross-border data transfers, algorithmic processes and more. However, as long as these risks are presented to users in a clear and transparent manner, individuals will be able to decide whether the benefits of the App outweigh the risk that is posed to them.
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TikTok isn’t the only platform that has recently been subject to GDPR fines. WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned, end-to-end encrypted messaging service has recently encountered the second largest fine ever to be administered under the GDPR. This came after continuous complaints in 2018, regarding the platform’s transparency and how they provide information about the way they process the data that they collect from users.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, who had been investigating the case since the original complaints back in 2018, have been a powerhouse authority for scoping out negligence of GDPR responsibilities. The investigation against WhatsApp was what is known as an ‘own volition’ enquiry. This means that the regulator selected the parameters of the investigation, choosing to hone in on WhatsApp’s transparency obligations.
The 9ine Privacy Academy
The 9ine Privacy Academy is for data protection professionals that feel they are lacking applicable training. In partaking in our program, which is specific for the education sector, up to five members of your team will be given informative and felicitous resources to ensure that they are able to implement the correct procedures to advance your privacy programme. With sessions focussing on privacy policies, and information rights & ethics, your school will be able to achieve compliance and make sure that no fines are administered for lack of transparency, just as they were for TikTok and WhatsApp.
If you would like to know more about how 9ine’s services can help you with social media usage and data protection, you can talk to one of our consultants directly.
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