The EU opens an investigation into TikTok Lite, citing addiction concerns

European Union (EU) went after TikTok and accused the platform of violating the region’s Digital Services Act (DSA), . The probe involves the addictive nature of TikTok Lite, a smaller version of the app that takes up less memory on a smartphone and is built to run on slower internet connections.

TikTok Lite launched earlier this month in France and Spain and includes a design aspect that allows users to earn points by watching and liking videos. These points can be exchanged for things like Amazon vouchers and TikTok’s special digital currency, which is typically used to tip creators. The EU Commission expressed concern that this type of “task and reward” design language could affect the mental health of young users by “stimulating addictive behaviour”.

The commission has yet to confirm any breach of the DSA, but has suggested it will take interim measures to force parent company ByteDance to suspend TikTok Lite in the EU while it continues its investigation. The company has until April 24 to argue against these potential measures, so the program is still available to EU residents. However, ByteDance failed to submit a risk assessment document on TikTok Lite to the EU after being asked last week.

Failure to comply with the DSA can subject a company to stiff fines of up to one percent of its annual gross revenue and periodic fines of up to five percent of daily revenue. The commission has not announced whether it plans to issue these fines as the investigation is ongoing.

“We suspect that TikTok Lite may be as toxic and addictive as light cigarettes,” EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton wrote in a press release announcing the study. “We will spare no effort to protect our children.”

ByteDance has yet to respond to the investigation and the potential for TikTok Lite to be banned in the EU. This latest inquiry follows a more comprehensive investigation . This extensive review focuses on addictive algorithms, age verification, default privacy settings, and ad transparency.

The February investigation is ongoing, but ByteDance has already been forced to compromise to allow TikTok to operate in the EU. The company should have given users a choice Established the For You Page and new malicious content reporting options. It also stopped personalized ads for EU users aged 13-17.

As for America, keeps getting closer to reality. The US House of Representatives included a revised version of the bill in the foreign aid package this weekend. Under this new proposed legislation, ByteDance will have a year to sell TikTok before it is banned from app stores. It now goes to the Senate and is likely to be voted on this week. However, it remains to be seen whether the Senate will keep information about TikTok in the foreign aid package. President Biden has said before If Congress passes it.

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