Sending personalized advertising without prior authorization? TikTok's announced change in the processing of personal data leads the AEPD to initiate ex officio investigation proceedings

Thursday, 21 of July of 2022

The heat wave catches TikTok off guard and despite the announcement of the imminent entry into force of its new privacy policy on Wednesday 13 July, it has been forced to freeze its implementation until it is no longer in the sights of the AEPD. A priori, the regulator is suspicious of this change because, behind a simple technical modification to enable advertising profiles by users, a major change could be hidden that would involve a potential mix of data obtained through the platform with data purchased from third parties, without the mandatory obtaining of the express consent of users for this purpose. In this sense, while TikTok had been requesting express consent to use activity data on and off the platform and offers personalized ads, as of 13 July it intends to rely on its "legitimate interests" as a legal basis. The change is not trivial, as the latter allows the company to use data without the required permission, and this is undoubtedly what has provoked the reaction of the Agency, which, in line with its counterparts in Italy and Ireland, has initiated ex officio proceedings against the Asian platform.

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