TikTok challenges €345m DPC fine for violations of child privacy rules

Social media giant says it is questioning constitutionality of 2018 Data Protection Act among other things

TikTok has launched a High Court challenge aimed at quashing the Data Protection Commission’s (DPC) decision to fine it €345 million for failing to protect children’s privacy on its social media site.

Earlier this month, the DPC imposed the fine after it investigated TikTok over how some of its privacy settings and features complied with obligations under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Arising out of the various orders made against it, the online video hosting service’s Irish-based subsidiary, TikTok Technolgies Limited, has launched judicial review proceedings where it seeks various orders and declarations against both the DPC as well as Ireland and the Attorney-General.

The social media giant claims the DPC’s decisions and findings against the social media service are flawed and should be set aside.


The matter was briefly mentioned before Mr Justice Brian Cregan during Thursday’s vacation sitting of the High Court.

Declan McGrath SC, for TikTok, said that, as part of its action, his client would be challenging the constitutionality of the 2018 Data Protection Act.

Counsel said that his client has also filed a statutory appeal against the DPC’s decision with the Circuit Court.

However, counsel said it was also bringing the High Court action because it may not be able to raise some of the issues it wants to raise in the statutory appeal.

The judge, who directed that the respondents in the case be served with the claims against them as a matter of courtesy, adjourned the case to date in October when the new legal term commences.

Asked on Thursday about the case, TikTok said: “We don’t have a further comment to add at this time.”

When the Irish regulator imposed the penalty earlier this month, TikTok said it “respectfully” disagreed with the decision and the level of the fine in particular. “The DPC’s criticisms are focused on features and settings that were in place three years ago, and that we made changes to well before the investigation even began, such as setting all under 16 accounts to private by default,” TikTok said then.