Is TikTok Safe for Kids? EU Probes TikTok Under New “Child Safety” Law (DSA)

EU Probes TikTok Under New “Child Safety” Law (DSA): The European Union has officially launched an investigation into TikTok’s compliance with the Digital Services Act (DSA), the bloc’s comprehensive online governance and content moderation rulebook. The investigation focuses on critical areas, including the protection of minors, advertising transparency, data access for researchers, and the risk management associated with addictive design and harmful content.

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Key Areas of Scrutiny

  1. Minors’ Protection: The EU expresses concern about TikTok’s measures for safeguarding minors, including the effectiveness of age verification tools and the overall protection of young users from inappropriate content. The investigation will assess if TikTok adheres to DSA obligations to implement suitable and proportionate measures to ensure privacy, safety, and security for minors.
  2. Advertising Transparency: The inquiry extends to TikTok’s compliance with DSA requirements for a searchable and reliable repository for advertisements on its platform. The EU aims to evaluate the platform’s adherence to transparency standards in making advertising data accessible and verifiable.
  3. Data Access for Researchers: The EU examines TikTok’s efforts in providing researchers with access to publicly available data on its platform to facilitate the study of systemic risks within the European Union. Compliance with Article 40 of the DSA, which mandates data access for research purposes, is under scrutiny.
  4. Systemic Risks and Design: The investigation will delve into potential negative effects resulting from TikTok’s system design, including algorithms. The EU is particularly concerned about the user experience contributing to behavioral addictions and ‘rabbit hole effects,’ emphasizing the impact on fundamental rights, mental well-being, and risks related to radicalization processes.

Penalties and Duration

Confirmed breaches of the DSA can lead to penalties of up to 6% of the platform’s global annual turnover. The EU will intensify information requests, potentially including interviews and inspections, to gather insights during the investigation. The duration of the probe depends on factors such as case complexity, cooperation from TikTok, and the exercise of defense rights.

TikTok’s Response on “EU Probes TikTok Under DSA “

TikTok responded by acknowledging its commitment to user safety, particularly for teens. The platform highlighted ongoing efforts to collaborate with experts and industry stakeholders to enhance safety measures. TikTok expressed eagerness to provide detailed explanations to the Commission during the investigation.

EU Authorities’ Perspective

Margrethe Vestager, EVP for digital, emphasized the critical nature of online user safety in Europe and TikTok’s responsibility to carefully assess the risks posed by its services. Thierry Breton, internal market commissioner, stressed that the protection of minors is a top priority under the DSA.


As TikTok faces a comprehensive investigation, the EU aims to ensure that the platform aligns with DSA obligations, fostering a secure digital environment for users. The outcome of the inquiry will play a pivotal role in shaping TikTok’s compliance strategies and addressing concerns related to minors’ safety, advertising practices, data access, and systemic risks. Stay tuned for updates as the investigation progresses in the dynamic landscape of online content governance.

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