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TikTok blackout problem: Italy tells platform to dam customers after dying of younger woman

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 A TikTok brand is displayed on a smartphone on this illustration. — Reuters/File
  • Italian watchdog orders TikTok to dam accounts of any customers whose age it couldn’t confirm
  • The order comes after dying of a 10-year-old woman who had been utilizing TikTok
  • TikTok had mentioned it could ban registration for youngsters aged beneath 13

ROME: The Italian information privateness watchdog ordered video app TikTok on Friday to dam the accounts of any customers in Italy whose age it couldn’t confirm following the dying of a 10-year-old woman who had been utilizing the Chinese language-owned app.

In a press release, the regulator mentioned that though TikTok had dedicated to ban registration for youngsters aged beneath 13, it was nonetheless straightforward to avoid this rule.

Consequently, it mentioned TikTok needed to block unverified person accounts till at the least February 15 awaiting additional data.

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A spokeswoman for TikTok in Italy mentioned the corporate was analysing the communication acquired from the authority.

“Privacy and safety are absolute priorities for TikTok and we are constantly working to strengthen our policies, our processes and our technologies to protect our community and younger users in particular,” she mentioned in an emailed remark.

Owned by China’s ByteDance, TikTok has been quickly rising in recognition world wide, notably amongst youngsters.

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The ruling got here after a woman died of asphyxiation in Palermo, Sicily, in a case that has shocked Italy.

Her dad and mom mentioned she had been taking part in a so-called blackout problem on TikTok, placing a belt round her neck and holding her breath whereas recording herself on her telephone.

“TikTok was her world. And YouTube. That’s how she spent her time,” the woman’s father Angelo Sicomero was quoted as saying in Saturday’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Investigation

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into potential incitement to suicide and want to see whether or not somebody invited the woman to participate within the problem.

“The watchdog decided to intervene as a matter of urgency following the terrible case of the 10-year-old girl from Palermo,” the authority mentioned.

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It mentioned TikTok was banned from “further processing user data for which there is no absolute certainty of age and, consequently, of compliance with the provisions related to the age requirement”.

An official mentioned this meant that customers of unverified accounts would now not be capable to add movies or work together with different individuals on the platform.

The watchdog mentioned it had raised considerations with TikTok in December over what it known as a sequence of violations, together with allegations the agency had failed to guard minors.

It added that it had informed the authorities in Eire about its choice as a result of TikTok has introduced that it could run its European operations out of Dublin. 

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