January 17, 2023

The way the cookies crumble: TikTok fined € 5 million for violating French Data Protection Act

On December 29, 2022, the French data protection agency — the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL) – imposed a €5 million fine on TikTok Information Technologies UK Limited (TikTok UK) and TikTok Technology Limited (TikTok Ireland) for violating Article 82 of the French Data Protection Act.  

The CNIL tested TikTok’s website in June 2021, and found that users could accept cookies by clicking only once, whereas to refuse cookies, internet users had to click several times.  In February 2022, the company installed a “Reject All” cookies button, bringing its website into compliance with Article 82’s requirement that equivalent processes be available for the acceptance and the rejection of cookies.

The CNIL also determined that users of TikTok’s website were not adequately informed as to the purpose and manner in which the cookies were used if accepted, and this too was determined to constitute a violation of Article 82.

In light of the number of users, including minors, and earlier communications between the CNIL and TikTok, a €5 million penalty was imposed.  

CNIL press release | CNIL discussion