The Italian data privacy watchdog instructed video app TikTok on Friday to block the accounts of all users in Italy whose age it could not authenticate after the death of a 10-year-old girl who had been using the Chinese-owned app.
The regulator said that although TikTok had committed to ban registration for children aged under 13, it was wasn’t difficult to violate this rule.
TikTok had to block unverified user accounts until at least Feb. 15 awaiting further information.
A spokeswoman for TikTok in Italy claimed that the company was analyzing the communication received from the authority. According to her version, privacy and safety are of utmost priorities for TikTok and the company is constantly working to strengthen their policies, processes and technologies to secure community and younger users in particular.
Owned by China’s ByteDance, TikTok is becoming popular globally, especially among teenagers.
The ruling came after a girl died of asphyxiation in Palermo, Sicily, in a case that has shocked Italy.
According to her parents, she was participating in a so-called blackout challenge on TikTok while recording herself on her phone.
Prosecutors are investigating possible incitement to suicide and are probing if someone invited the girl to participate in the challenge.