Home European Union launches another TikTok probe

European Union launches another TikTok probe


  • EU opens probe on TikTok Lite under Digital Services Act (DSA).
  • TikTok failed to provide required risk assessment to EU Commission.
  • Commission threatens suspension of TikTok Lite in Europe if risks not mitigated.

After launching TikTok Lite in France and Spain without the proper risk assessments in place, the European Union has opened a probe under the Digital Services Act (DSA).

TikTok Lite is a version of the video-sharing platform with daily tasks that users can undertake to earn points, which can then be converted into currency. It has been available in Asia for several years but has just been launched in select European countries.

Last week, the European Commission (the bloc’s executive arm) requested information from TikTok, namely the required risk assessment, with a 24-hour deadline which TikTok failed to comply with.

They were required to provide a risk assessment report that all designated Very Large Online Platforms must provide before launch, as well as a document that includes “measures to mitigate any potential systemic risks” according to the Commission’s press release.

The Commission’s concern arises from the potentially addictive nature of the app and its reward system, particularly when it comes to children. Even though the rewards app is only intended for use by those over 18, the Commission cited the “suspected absence of effective age verification mechanisms on TikTok” as a cause for concern.

European commissioner Thierry Breton shared on X that they believe TikTok Lite to be “toxic and addictive, in particular for children.” He continued, “Unless TikTok provides compelling proof of safety —which it failed to do until now—we stand ready to trigger DSA interim measures including the suspension of the TikTokLite “reward program.”

“We are disappointed with this decision – the TikTok Lite rewards hub is not available to under 18s, and there is a daily limit on video watch tasks. We will continue discussions with the Commission.” said a TikTok spokesperson to Euractiv.

What happens next between TikTok and the European Union?

Because TikTok failed to supply documentation which should have been provided before the launch of the app, the Commission “suspects a prima facie infringement of the DSA and considers that there are risks of serious damage for the mental health of users.”

TikTok has been given until April 24 to provide the necessary documentation and satisfy the Commission that risks have been sufficiently mitigated. If they do not, the Commission will suspend operations of TikTok Lite in Europe pending assessment, with the potential to renew the suspension if “necessary and proportionate.”

TikTok is also currently under fire in the US, with legislation moving to the Senate that would require its Chinese owners ByteDance to sell within a time limit, over national security concerns.

Meanwhile, another social network, Elon Musk’s X, is in a heated dispute with two national governments: Brazil and now Australia over content on the platform.

Featured image: generated by Ideogram

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Ali Rees
Tech journalist

Ali Rees is a freelance writer based in the UK. They have worked as a data and analytics consultant, a software tester, and a digital marketing and SEO specialist. They have been a keen gamer and tech enthusiast since their childhood in are currently the Gaming and Tech editor at Brig Newspaper. They also have a Substack where they review short video games. During the pandemic, Ali turned their hand to live streaming and is a fan of Twitch. When not writing, Ali enjoys playing video and board games, live music, and reading. They have two cats and both of…

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