TikTok will recheck the age of every user in Italy after DPA order – TechCrunch

TikTok has agreed to re-verify the age of each user in Italy and block access to users who are under 13 in the state, the country’s data protection agency Where today.

The video, sharing the social network, confirmed that every user in Italy from 9 February would have to go through their age limit process again – and only users 13 and older would be allowed to continue using the app.

Accounts of those who say they are under 13 will be removed.

All users in Italy are required to follow an emergency again through Tiktok’s age-verification process count According to local media reports, on January 22, by the Italian GPDP, the death of a 10-year-old girl from Palermo, who died of balsamosis after participating in a “blackout challenge” on the social network.

Tektok was given a January 29 deadline to respond to the GPDP order Previously reported. Today the agency confirmed that TeakTalk has accepted the measures.

As well as asking all users in the country to re-enter their date of birth to continue using the app, GPDP said TikTok would “consider deploying AI-based systems for age verification purposes”.

The Italian watchdog said it would monitor the effectiveness of Tiktok’s age verification process.

When users sign-up, the basic age-check conducts TicTock – which it will exclude for all users in Italian in a few days – simply requiring users to enter their date of birth, so it It is very easy to circumvent. But it is also clear that age verification is a difficult problem online.

Strong identity checks to determine age beyond doubt threaten a ‘sledgehammer to crack the nuts’ scenario – potentially limiting service access in a way that harms online anonymity and privacy Is, with possible knock on other views on freedom of expression and data security.

On the other hand, there are increasing public concerns that younger users are exposing inappropriate and harmful content online.

While TikTok’s lead data supervisor in the European Union is Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) includes a provision that allows national DPA to make emergency interventions to protect users – which uses GPDP. here.

The agency said today, “After this initial investigation, the company took further steps to identify users under 13 with reasonable certainty.”

“Since the implementation of such systems needs to balance the need for accurate verification against the right of children’s data protection, the company has entered into an agreement with the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) on the use of AI for the purposes of age verification. Committed to initiate dialogue. Ireland is where Tiktok has set its main establishment in the European Union.

Reached for comment, the Irish Data Protection Commission told TechCrunch: “DPC engages with TikTok, in terms of processing personal data for review, to identify child users from measures implemented by the company to ensure it Effective tools are available. The platform and, generally, measures and security to protect users from the most vulnerable in terms of risks arising from the processing of their own data. “So it remains to be seen whether the regulator will push for more robust age checks.

Another change resulting from GPDP intervention enabled TikTok to report users “quickly and easily”, which other users may find under 13 years of age.

According to TikTok, these reports are reviewed by arbitrators and “necessarily removed”.

“All the above measures are already complementary,” said GPDP: Started to double the number of Italian moderators of Plattech material.

Commenting in a statement, Alexandra Evans, Tickcock’s head of child safety, said: “Keeping people safe at Tickcock is our top priority. We have reached an agreement with Garent and today, we are taking additional steps to support our community in Italy. From 9 February, we will re-send every user in Italy through our age limit process and only users over the age of 13 will be able to continue using the app after undergoing this process. We are also offering a new, in-app reporting button, allowing users to believe they are under 13, which will be reviewed by our team and removed as needed.

“When it comes to protecting our users, especially our little ones, there is no finish line, and our work in this important area does not stop. So we are continuing to invest in people, processes and technologies that help our community to have a safe place for positive, creative expression. “

Tiktok’s re-released age check in Italy will also be accompanied by a local information campaign in which Tiktok aims to raise awareness of parents and children’s age checks and other child safety-related features – both through its app From and in the media.

“Tikotok will launch an information campaign from February 4 through the app and other channels. The company will send push alerts to users on the app before blocking their access and inform them of the need to enter their age. Banners will also be published on links to information on security tools and how to change profile settings from ‘public’ to ‘private’. The GPDP said that information campaigns through the web and through the press would be addressed to parents and the age limit for registration would be specifically outlined.

The agency also noted that TickTalk has agreed to improve the wording of the brief privacy notice created for users under the age of 18 “to explain how the data is collected and those The data is processed in an easily understandable and user-oriented way ”.

In addition to TikTok’s imminent information campaign, GPDP, in collaboration with a child protection charity called Telefono Azzurro, is launching its own child safety awareness campaign on national TV channels. It said that it would be aimed at parents to encourage their children to monitor the use of the app.

The campaign aims to actively supervise parents and pay special attention to situations where their children are requested to enter their age to reach TicTock.