TikTok Reviews Italian Data Watchdog’s Order to Block Accounts

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TikTok, ByteDance Ltd.’s social media app, said the company is reviewing the Italian data-protection authority’s orders to block unverified accounts of younger users.

The privacy watchdog told TikTok on Friday to block the accounts of users in the country whose age it couldn’t verify at least until Feb. 15, according to a statement by the regulator.

“Privacy and safety are top priorities for TikTok and we are constantly strengthening our policies, processes and technologies to protect all users, and our younger users in particular,” a TikTok spokesperson said in an email response to a Bloomberg News inquiry.

The government order was reported by Reuters earlier. The strengthening of rules came after a 10-year-old girl died of asphyxiation in Palermo, Sicily, while taking part in a so-called blackout challenge on TikTok, the news agency cited her parents as saying.

TikTok has come under increased scrutiny by European Union regulators over data on children. Ireland’s data-privacy watchdog recently took over related probes from the French and Danish authorities.

The EU’s data-protection chiefs in June pledged to coordinate potential investigations into the Chinese company, establishing a taskforce to get a better understanding of Tiktok’s processing and practices.

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