The European Commission investigates whether TikTok violated its policy for the protection of minors

The authorities will review whether the social network of Chinese origin contains code with real harmful effects to minors that can lead to behavioral addictions and "rabbit hole" effects.

The European Commission, the union's executive body, announced the formal opening of an investigation against the social network TikTok for violating its digital policies. According to the European Commission, the platform owned by ByteDance may have violated the law on the protection of minors, transparency, data protection, risk of addiction and harmful content.

The Commission's decision comes after analyzing the reports that TikTok submitted to the authorities. Along with this, representatives of the platform also appeared before the European Commission, similar to their accountability hearing before the United States Congress.

After this preliminary phase, European authorities fear that the platform has not fulfilled all its obligations when it comes to preventing risks related to the use of the application in Europe. The Commission speaks of "real and foreseeable effects" that lie in the design and system of the social network. At the center of these dangers are the algorithms and content management system, which could create serious behavioral addiction problems.

"Such evaluation is necessary to counteract the potential risks for the exercise of the fundamental right to physical and mental well-being of the person, respect for the rights of minors, as well as its impact on radicalization processes," the Commission stated in relation to the potential risk of "rabbit hole effects" in the use of the application.

The algorithm and its effects on the health of users and minors is not the only problem identified by the European Commission. So is the transparency of the platform and access to user data by third parties. TikTok also falls short in it´s obligation to ensure an adequate level of privacy, security and protection of minors, in particular with regard to the default privacy settings for minors as part of the design and operation of its recommendation systems.