The EU’s digital policy chief Thierry Breton has warned TikTok that the app will have to abide by new rules set to take effect later this year.
According to Security Week, Thierry Breton held a video call with Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok and discussed the firm’s plans to comply with the EU’s Digital Services Act.
The Act is a set of sweeping rules that will require platforms to reduce harmful online content and combat online risks.
Breton said, “With younger audiences comes greater responsibility. It is not acceptable that behind seemingly fun and harmless features, it takes users seconds to access harmful and sometimes even life-threatening content.”
He added that with millions of young users in Europe, TikTok has a ‘special responsibility’ to ensure its content is safe.
Earlier this month, Shou met four other officials from the EU’s Commission in Brussels to discuss concerns ranging from child safety to investigations into user data flowing to China.
Caroline Greer, the company’s director of public policy and government relations, said that Breton’s talk with Shou was a ‘good exchange’ and that the ‘safety of our users in paramount’.
Breton said he is also concerned about allegations TikTok is spying on journalists and transferring reams of personal user data outside of Europe, in violation of the 27-country bloc’s strict privacy rules.
Breton said he “explicitly conveyed” to Shou that TikTok needs to “step up efforts to comply” with EU rules on data protection, copyright as well as the Digital Services At, which includes provisions for heavy fines or even a ban from the EU for repeat offenses that threaten the people’s lives or safety.
“We will not hesitate to adopt the full scope of sanctions to protect our citizens if audits do not show full compliance,” he said.
A previous spending bill unveiled by the US Congress could ban TikTok from most US government devices.
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