On Tuesday, 23 May, Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon appeared before the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) to face criticism over the length of time that it’s taking for the Data Protection Commission (DPC) to investigate the social media platform TikTok.
The DPC opened its two TikTok investigations in September 2009. While the preliminary decision relating to its children's privacy investigation has been submitted to members of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) under Article 60 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with a decision expected later this year, the second investigation concerning transfers of personal data to China is not as advanced. Ms Dixon did not indicate how long it would take for this investigation to progress to the next step.
However, Ms Dixon reassured Committee members by signalling, “2023 is going to be an even bigger year for GDPR enforcement on foot of DPC large scale investigations.” Alongside the TikTok children's privacy investigation, she added that there are “many further large scale inquiries travelling closely behind.”
Addressing concerns over protracted investigations into big technology companies, Ms Dixon pointed to "decision making by committee," referring to cross-border GDPR cases and the one-stop-shop mechanism. At one point, she told one MEP, "I do want to assure you we’re working as quickly as we can.”
Ms Dixons appearance followed an opening address from UK Information Commissioner John Edwards.
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