Kenya tells TikTok to show adherence to local privacy regulations

Kenya tells TikTok to show adherence to local privacy regulations

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Kenya has demanded that TikTok show it is adhering to local privacy and user verification laws, the interior minister said on Thursday, saying the platform has been used to spread propaganda, carry out fraud and distribute sexual content.

TikTok and other social media companies are under pressure from regulators around the world to shield users from harmful content and criminals who take advantage of the sites.

“The government, through the office of the Data Protection Commissioner, has contacted TikTok and raised concerns relating to its processing activities,” Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki told a parliamentary committee.

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, did not respond immediately to a request for comment. In response to similar criticism in other countries, it has defended its record on user privacy.

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Kindiki said the platform had been used by criminals “to spread malicious propaganda, steal popular accounts through identity theft and impersonation” and to “conduct fraud by duping Kenyans into fake forex trades and fake job recruitments”.

“These risks have caused distress among users, exposed minors to inappropriate content and promoted discord among citizens,” he said.

Last week, Italy’s competition watchdog fined three units of TikTok 10 million euros ($10.91 million) in total for inadequate checks on content potentially harmful to young or vulnerable users.

The company also faces a ban in the United States unless its Chinese owners sell within about six months, under the terms of a draft bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.


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