French privacy watchdog opens preliminary investigation into TikTok

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FRANCE’S data privacy watchdog CNIL on Tuesday said it had opened a preliminary investigation into Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok after it received a complaint.

TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, is already under investigation over privacy concerns by U.S., European Union, and Dutch authorities.

“A complaint about TikTok was received in May. This complaint is now under investigation,” a CNIL spokesman said, confirming a Bloomberg report.

He, however, declined to elaborate on the nature of the complaint or the identity of the plaintiff.

When asked for comment, TikTok said: “Protecting TikTok users’ privacy and safety is our top priority. We are aware of the investigation by the CNIL and are fully cooperating with them.”

In the U.S., officials have said that TikTok poses a national security risk because of the personal data it handles.

President Donald Trump has threatened to ban TikTok and has given ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations to Microsoft.

In June, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) said it would set up a task force to assess TikTok’s activities across the bloc after a request from an EU lawmaker concerned about its data collection and security and privacy risks.

In May, the Dutch privacy watchdog has said it will investigate how TikTok handles the data of millions of young users.

NAN

Aug. 11, 2020 | 14:50

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