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France fines TikTok €5 million for not being user friendly enough to opt out of cookies.

Published: 2023-01-13

France's National Commission for Information Rights and Freedoms (CNIL) has fined Chinese short video service TikTok €5 million for cookie violations. Violations were eliminated almost a year ago.

According to the CNIL, the Tiktok website previously had an insufficiently convenient mechanism for users to refuse the storage of cookies: in order to refuse them, it was necessary to make several mouse clicks, while only one was enough to accept them. Such a mechanism was regarded as manipulation of the user's actions and qualified as an offense. The site was tested in June 2021, and in February 2022, along with the “Accept All” button, “Reject All” appeared on it, offering a simple refusal to save cookies and actually eliminating the violation.

Typically, cookies are used to track user activity, such as targeted ads or analytics. CNIL experts also found that users were not informed “quite accurately” about the purposes of saving cookies - this affected both the data on the banner itself at the first level of consent or refusal of these files, and the “choice interface” that was opened by clicking on the link in banner. For all these facts, a protocol was drawn up against the administration of TikTok on violation of Art. 82 of the French Data Protection Act.

A representative of the platform commented on the incident and stated that all the violations identified by the regulator were eliminated last year - the agency itself noted the readiness of the company to cooperate during the audit.