Italy takes action against Tik Tok following girl’s death

Italy’s data protection authority said on Friday it was imposing an immediate block on Tik Tok’s access to data for any user whose age has not been verified.

The authority said it was acting with “urgency” following the death of a 10-year-old girl in Sicily, who died while participating in a so-called “blackout challenge” while using the Chinese-owned video-sharing social network. The “challenge” involves putting a belt around their neck and holding the breath while recording them on phone. The dangerous act cold lead to asphyxiation.

Prosecutors in Sicily are investigating the case.

The data protection authority noted it had advised Tik Tok in December of a series of violations, including scant attention to the protection of minors, the ease with which users under age 13 could sign up for the platform — against its own rules — the lack of transparency in information given to users and the use of automatic settings that did not respect privacy.

“While waiting to receive a response, the authority decided to take action to ensure the immediate protection of minors in Italy registered on the network,’’ the authority said in a statement.

The block will remain in place at least until Feb. 15, when further evaluations will be made.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 10:24:51 AM |

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