Information and Privacy Agency: TikTok should change the age of use

The use of the TikTok network has already been banned by a decision in the state institutions of Kosovo, but it continues to be used at the country level.

On June 28, the Government of Kosovo approved the law prohibiting the operation of the services of the social network TikTok in all institutions of the country, in order to preserve privacy.

This social network, which is considered dangerous due to the violation of privacy, should change the age of use of users, according to the Information and Privacy Agency.

This agency has asked the representatives of TikTok in Europe, with whom they have met, that the privacy policies of the social network be translated into the Albanian language, which has already been done. They also requested that the age of use of this social network be raised from 13 to 16.

The commissioner at the Information and Privacy Agency, Krenare Dermaku, told KosovaPress that citizens should be careful that their personal data is preserved.

“In this case TikTok, as well as we have requested that the age for its use be raised from 13, as it has been, to 16, as our national law provides. What we need to do as a society and as institutions are to raise the awareness of citizens about where and to whom personal data is being served”, said Dermaku.

Cybernetics expert, Mentor Hoxha, says that not only children, but also adults are often exposed to inappropriate content.

“In this regard, the Government of the Republic of Kosovo has taken a decision based on the violation of national security. Not only children, but also adults, are exposed to inappropriate content… This concern on TikTok is not only about inappropriate content, but on TikTok we also see illegal activities, which as they have pointed out in the past; we have only been able to see such activities on the ‘dark web’. In TikTok, we have less freedom of speech, more flagrant violations of the laws in force, international laws where illegal activity is being read, inappropriate content is flourishing”, said Hoxha.

Sociologist Ferdi Kamberi, in a written response to KosovaPress, has expressed concern that many children find themselves exposed to inappropriate sexual content, which can lead to juvenile sexual behavior and damage their emotional and social development.

“TikTok is one of the social networks that, unlike the others, significantly affects the individual’s privacy, even though the appropriate age in social networks is 13, most young people often ignore it. Other impacts include the hypersexuality of children, where many children find themselves exposed to sexually inappropriate content on this platform, which can lead to juvenile sexual behavior and harm their emotional and social development. Likewise, other influences are also observed in the greater tendency of pedophiles, bullying, violation of privacy, addiction to TikTok, the tendency to be in the center of attention, etc.”, said Kamberi.

Concerns that the Chinese government could gain access to sensitive user data on TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, have prompted the US government to pass legislation banning the social media platform unless it is sold within a year.

Lawmakers and regulators in the West have increasingly expressed concern that TikTok and its parent company ByteDance could put sensitive user data, such as location information, in the hands of the Chinese government.

India banned the TikTok app in 2020 after New Delhi cracked down on hundreds of Chinese-owned apps, alleging in part that they were secretly transmitting user data to foreign servers.

Britain and its Parliament, Australia, Canada, the EU’s executive arm, France, and the New Zealand Parliament have banned the app from official devices as it represents a national security threat. /KosovaPress-BTA/