The video-sharing social media platform TikTok has been ordered by data privacy authority to temporarily block the accounts of users whose age cannot be verified. This comes after the death of a 10-year-old girl who had been using the platform.
The Protection Authority told the Chinese owned app to block users in Italy until at least February the 15th. The order came after a girl died of asphyxiation in Palermo, Sicily, a case that has since shocked the Italian population.
According to Gadgets360, the girl’s parents said she had been participating in a blackout challenge on TikTok, which required her to put a belt around her neck and hold her breath while recording herself on her phone.
Italian prosecutors have since then opened an investigation into possible incitement to suicide and are looking to see whether someone invited her to take part in the challenge.
Before this tragic accident happened TikTok has been trying to add more privacy controls for younger user accounts the previous year. It started off with ‘remote parental controls’ that allowed parents to change their children’s privacy settings on the platform.
Earlier this year TikTok had updated the ‘default privacy settings’ for users between the ages of 13 and 14 years old, which restricted who can see and comment on their videos.
The Italian Authority said it had raised concerns with TikTok in December over what it called a series of infringements which included, poor attention to the protection of minors, the easy dodging of the registration ban the company applies to children under 13 years, non-transparent and unclear information provided to users, and default settings falling short of privacy requirements.
Hopefully, TikTok will introduce the same version it has in the US for children under the age of 13 which is meant to limit the content and interaction available to those younger users.
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