TikTok is in the sights of the EU. The Chinese social network said in early November 2022 that the personal data of European users was sent to China and could be viewed by employees. Information that did not please members of the European Parliament, who had already warned about the data protection of the application in early August via an open letter addressed to Ursula von der Leyen.
The President of the European Commission responded to this request, also in a letter shared on Twitter by Brendan Carr, Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States Government. In this letter, Ursula von der Leyen recalls that companies operating within the EU must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), in particular the fifth chapter dealing with sending data to a third country.
Article 45 of the GDPR specifies that the transfer of personal data to a third country can take place only if the European Union “found by decision” that the third country “provides an adequate level of protection”. In this context, Ursula von der Leyen states that TikTok is the subject of several investigations by the Irish Data Protection Commission. The latter focuses on the case of data transfer, but also on targeted advertising towards minors present on the platform. A subject on which the Commission had already opened investigations in 2021.