The supreme data protection authority in Italy is asking the developers of TikTok to block unverified user accounts. The background is tragic because a young girl died in a challenge.
The girl from Italy was only ten years old and shouldn’t have used the app at all if TikTok had carried out the age verification correctly, reports the responsible data protection officer. Therefore, by order of the authorities, TikTok has to block all accounts for which it cannot be properly clarified whether the users have actually reached the minimum age of 13 or not by February 15. Those who are blocked can be reactivated by the app makers with proof of age, they say.
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Blackout challenge with great risk potential
According to the Reuters news agency, the Italian data protection officer decided to take the action after the ten-year-old girl was killed in the so-called Blackout Challenge. She had a belt around her neck to restrict the air supply while she recorded herself on her cell phone. She didn’t seem to be aware of the danger. “The supervisory authority has decided to intervene urgently after the terrible case of the ten-year-old girl from Palermo,” says the Reuters report.
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Prosecutors have opened an investigation into possible incitement to suicide and are looking into whether someone invited the girl to take part in the challenge. TikTok has now been initially banned from “further processing user data for which there is no absolute certainty about the age and consequently about compliance with the regulations in relation to the age requirement.” TikTok is committed to banning registration for children under the age of 13, but it’s too easy to bypass this rule.
I’m a communication enthusiast and junior editor-reporter at Research Snipers RS-NEWS, I have completed a degree in Mass Communication but very enthusiast about new technology, games, and mobile devices. I have the main interest in Technology, business and social news.