Italy tells TikTok to block users after death of young girl

The Italian data privacy watchdog ordered video app TikTok on Friday to block the accounts of any users in Italy whose age it could not verify following the death of a 10-year-old girl who had been using the Chinese-owned app, SİA reports citing Reuters.

In a statement, the regulator said that although TikTok had committed to ban registration for children aged under 13, it was nonetheless easy to circumvent this rule.

As a result, it said TikTok had to block unverified user accounts until at least Feb. 15 awaiting further information.

There was no immediate response from TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance.

The ruling came after a girl died of asphyxiation in Palermo, Sicily. Her parents said she had been participating in a so-called blackout challenge posted on TikTok, putting a belt around her neck and holding her breath while recording herself on her phone.

“The watchdog decided to intervene as a matter of urgency following the terrible case of the 10-year-old girl from Palermo,” the authority said.

It said TikTok was banned from “further processing user data for which there is no absolute certainty of age and, consequently, of compliance with the provisions related to the age requirement”.

An official said this meant unverified accounts would be blocked and users would no longer be able to upload videos.

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