TikTok is the latest tech giant to be reprimanded by the French data protection body for breaching cookie consent rules.
the sanction of 5 million euros refers to a cookie consent flow that TikTok used on its website (tiktok.com) until early last year.
the french regulator uncovered what it wasn’t as easy for users to reject cookies as it was to accept them, so you were essentially manipulating consent, making it easier for site visitors to agree to your tracking than to opt out.
That is, until the implementation of a “Reject All” button on the website in February 2022, which seems to have resolved the issue. This change may explain the relatively small fine imposed in this case.
Tracking cookies are typically used to deliver behavioral advertising, but they can also be used for other website activities such as analytics.
During the control carried out in June 2021, the CNIL observed that, although the companies TikTok United Kingdom and TikTok Ireland offered a button that would allow them to accept cookies immediately, they had not implemented an equivalent solution (button or other) that would allow the surfer reject your deposit just as easily.
It took several clicks to reject all cookies, against just one to accept them”, says the control body in a statement.
The Select Committee considered that making the rejection mechanism more complex is equivalent to dissuading users from rejecting cookies and encourage them to favor the ease of the “Accept All” button.
Therefore, TikTok violated a legal requirement for freedom of consent “since it wasn’t as simple to reject cookies as to accept them.”
In addition, the regulator considered that TikTok did not inform users “sufficiently accurate” of the purposes of cookies, both in the information banner presented in the first level of consent for cookies and within the scope of the “choice interface” that can be accessed after clicking on a link presented in the banner.