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Türkiye penalises TikTok for weak data protection measures

Turkish authorities have fined TikTok a total of 1.75 million lira ($93,000) for not taking sufficient measures to protect users from unlawful processing of their data, the Personal Data Protection Board (KVKK) has said.

The fine comes amid growing international concern over the Chinese short video-sharing app and who accesses its user data. 

Government institutions in Europe and Canada banned the app from staff phones and the United States is discussing a bill giving President Joe Biden the power to ban TikTok.

The KVKK said on Wednesday it had decided to fine the company for “not taking all necessary measures to ensure the appropriate level of security to prevent unlawful processing of personal data.”

The data protection authority also said in a statement on its website that TikTok should translate its Terms of Service into Turkish and update its privacy and cookies policy texts in line with the country’s regulations.

TikTok said they are looking into the Turkish regulator’s fine, adding that they remain committed to providing a safe and protected platform for users.

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“Our uncompromising commitment is to provide all users with the peace of mind they deserve by ensuring the safety, security and protection of their personal information – because their trust matters to us,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

Türkiye has the ninth most users of TikTok in the world, with some 30 million accounts on the social media platform, data from Statista showed.

Time limit for minors

As this developed, TikTok also announced on Wednesday that every account held by a user under the age of 18 will have a default 60-minute daily screen time limit in the coming weeks. 

Cormac Keenan, head of trust and safety at TikTok said in a blog post on Wednesday that when the 60-minute limit is reached, minors will be prompted to enter a passcode and make an “active decision” to keep watching. 

For accounts where the user is under the age of 13, a parent or guardian will have to set or enter an existing passcode to allow 30 minutes of extra viewing time once the initial 60-minute limit is reached.

READ MORE: US lawmakers push to ban TikTok on government devices

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